Greens slam Exeter Council over failure to implement ban on single use plastics

18 September 2019

Single use plastics in use at civic centreGreen Councillor, Diana Moore has said there is zero progress on implementing an end to the use of single use plastics in Exeter City Council buildings and events. A motion calling for the phasing out of single use plastics was unanimously supported by councillors last April, when it was brought forward by former Green Councillor Chris Musgrave.

But new Green councillor Diana Moore says there is clear evidence of single use plastics still in use and so requested an update on progress and actions at September's Place Scrutiny Committee. The Council were unable to provide one example of action taken in the last 18 months.  Diana says:

“18 months ago a Green Party motion, agreed unanimously by all councillors, called for a ‘phase out’ of single use plastics in council buildings and at council events by the end of 2018. By this stage it is reasonable to expect that policy to have been implemented. But we see zero progress and mini plastic milk cartons and other single use plastics are still in use. What I was hearing was ‘it is just too difficult’. This is not acceptable as the Council agreed to a range of actions that are completely within its powers and must lead by example. 

We cannot simply throw up our hands at our throwaway society. We know there is strong public support for tackling the scourge of plastic pollution and councillors clearly want to rid council buildings and activities of single use plastics. This needs to happen immediately.” 

Chris Musgrave, who brought the motion to Council in April 2018, added:

“If Exeter City Council cannot even act on the basics, how are we to have any confidence in them tackling huge environmental challenges like air pollution, climate change and threats to wildlife and biodiversity. We simply cannot trust Exeter Labour when it comes to the environment.”

Diana Moore has called on the council to produce a further update on how the policy will be implemented.