Single Use Plastics - the final straw

24 April 2018

Green Party councillor, Chris Musgrave, will today propose a motion pledging Exeter City Council to become a ‘single-use plastic-free’ authority by the end of 2018 [1]. Labour, the ruling Party on the council, have already pledged their support [2]. 

The motion calls on Exeter City Council to end the purchase and provision of single-use plastics such as bottles, cups, cutlery and drinking straws. It also pledges the council to work with festival organisers to end single-use ‘disposable’ plastic cups at all city festivals and replace them with reusable or deposit scheme cups. The Green sponsored motion also calls for the council to work with tenants and operators in commercial properties owned by Exeter City Council in phasing out of single-use cups, bottles, cutlery and straws and replace them with re-usable and affordable food containers.

Cllr Musgrave said:

“Councils can play an important part in the fight against the eight million tonnes of plastic waste that end up in the world’s oceans each year. Exeter does well at recycling some plastics through its Materials and Reclamation Facility operation, but much plastic doesn’t get recycled, is totally unnecessary and hugely damaging to our environment.  

 “I hope this motion will be the final straw and will gain cross-party support so that we can make Exeter single-use plastic free. We must do all we can to prevent our children inheriting a world where the weight of plastic in the oceans exceeds that of fish.”

 Ends

Notes

[1] Notice of Motion by Councillor Musgrave under Standing Order No.6: http://committees.exeter.gov.uk/documents/g5355/Agenda%20frontsheet%2024th-Apr-2018%2018.00%20Council.pdf?T=0

Exeter City Council notes:

1) according to recent research, eight million metric tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the world’s oceans each year, endangering marine life;

2) there is also a growing understanding of the risks posed to human health by toxic chemicals present in plastics;

3) the Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that by 2050 the weight of plastic in the oceans will exceed that of fish.

 Exeter City Council resolves to:

1) make Exeter City Council a ‘single-use plastic-free’ authority by the end of 2018, including an end to the purchase and procurement of SUPs through the ECC supply chain;

2) end the sale and provision of SUP products, such as bottles, cups, cutlery and drinking straws, in council buildings;

3) investigate the possibility of requiring pop - up food and drink vendors at council events to avoid SUPs as a condition of their contract;

4) work with tenants and operators in commercial properties owned by Exeter City Council to support the phasing out of SUP cups, bottles, cutlery and straws and re-usable and affordable food containers are available for sale in public markets;

5) work with festivals organisers to create policy in which single-use ‘disposable’ plastic cups are replaced at all city festivals with reusable or deposit scheme cups. Ensuring this ultimately becomes a condition for obtaining a licence for large scale events.

 [2] http://clp.exeter-labour.org.uk/exeter_labour_party_backs_plastics_campaign