Council takes a stand against single-use plastics

27th December

Wealden District Council has approved a three part action plan to take a stand against single-use plastics.

“Like many others, I was shocked to see the destruction plastic pollution is causing to marine wildlife on TV programmes like the BBC’s Blue Planet,” said Councillor Roy Galley, Wealden Cabinet member for Waste Management. “We have a good record when it comes to recycling plastics. But not all plastics can be recycled and some that can, never see a recycling bin. Once in the sea, plastics are often eaten by fish and marine mammals causing a painful death.

“In recent years we have become too reliant on plastics when alternative, re-useable solutions are at hand. Drinking water sold in plastic bottles is a good example. We want to help make refilling your own water bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible by encouraging as many ‘Refill Stations’ in the district as possible. We will be working with the national Refill campaign to encourage cafes, bars restaurants, and other businesses in Wealden to sign up to the free Refill app and put a sticker in their window to let people know that they are welcome to fill up their bottle for free.

“We are looking to reduce the use of single-use plastics in our own workplace, particularly plastic cups, straws and cutlery and encourage our leisure partner, Freedom Leisure, to do the same. Leading by example, we hope local businesses will follow.

“It may only be a start, but if we all start something, we’ll get somewhere.”

Plastic bottles

Photo courtesty of WRAP

The three part action plan, which focusses on the Council’s own internal performance, businesses and communities, was approved at Wealden’s December Cabinet meeting.  The Cabinet Advisory Group on the economy and waste management has already met with local business representatives including the Federation of Small Businesses, chambers of commerce and the Edeal enterprise agency to explore ways in which benefits can be achieved.

The Council will also seek the support of the many community groups that are involved in the Great Wealden Spring Clean to spread the message about Responsible Disposal.