Petition welcomed

9 February 2018

The Council’s Environmental Services champion has welcomed an online petition calling on the authority to lead in the fight against single use plastic.

Councillor Patrick Berry, Executive Councillor for Environmental Services, said: “I agree in principle that we as a nation should reduce single-use plastic to an absolute minimum.  This is an important issue which the Council is conscious of.  We are already using disposable and recyclable paper cups, and I would be keen to address what we can do to replace plastic bottles, plastic drinking straws and plastic bags too.

“If we are going to encourage our service providers, suppliers and local businesses to go 'single-use plastic free', we do need to set an example.”

The petition is being promoted by Transition Athelney, Quantock Eco, Taunton Transition Town, Transition Town Wellington and Wivey Action on Climate and Environment who aim to hand it to the Council for debate at a full meeting in the spring.

It wants the authority to become ‘single-use plastic free' by phasing out single-use plastic products and the unnecessary use of plastic bags in all council activities, where possible, by April 2019.

The campaigners also want the Council to encourage users of Council facilities, local businesses and other public agencies to do the same by championing alternatives such as reusable water bottles, cups, cutlery and bags.

The petition asks for a report to be submitted to Council by October 2018 summarising single-use plastic use by the authority and progress on plans for phasing it out; with a further update by April 2019.

Councillor Berry said: “While I agree with the principles of the petition the Council may not necessarily be able to subscribe to the requirements for actual dates and report deadlines.  It is essential that we work within the parameters of current and forthcoming legislation, and liaise with other local authorities who may be working towards similar objectives.”