ENVIRONMENTAL chiefs in Warwick are planning a crackdown on single-use plastic.
Warwick District Council (WDC) is drawing up guidelines to ensure plastic packaging and containers are no longer dished out by vendors ‘where possible’ during events.
Alternatives being considered include compostable coffee cups and food trays, paper bags, paper straws, a deposit scheme for glassware or reuseable hard plastic glasses, wooden cutlery and discounts for people bringing their own containers.
The council also said it would work with organisers, who might rely heavily on single-use plastic, to help phase it out.
Spokeswoman for Plastic Free Leamington Sarah Kenny-Levick said: “We are delighted that this second phase of the plastic policy has been passed specifically around the tighter guidelines on single use plastics at events on council owned land. This will help the cause no end and shows how committed the council are to supporting our endeavour to eliminate unnecessary single use plastic from our towns.”
The move is part of a plastic-free policy which was adopted last winter after veteran environmentalist David Attenborough highlighted the ‘plastic soup’ plaguing the world’s oceans.
The council has also committed to a number of measures to minimise its own impact.
It includes a pledge to cut back on plastic within the organisation including the use of plastic bottles and cups at its public venues, recycling plastic seals on ballot boxes, and encouraging the use of public recycling sites.
WDC environment spokesman Coun Alan Rhead said: “The council is committed to not only reducing single-use plastic from its own buildings and the items it procures, but also supporting Plastic Free Leamington and Warwick to achieve single-use plastic free status.
“The group is made up of volunteers and they have made some amazing achievements by encouraging schools, businesses and individuals to find alternatives to single use plastic. The group have also worked hard to promote the Refill scheme that now has over 65 refill stations in Leamington and Warwick.”
So far around 30 businesses have signed up to the ‘Plastic Free’ campaign with a pledge to phase out at least three single-use plastic items including straws, cutlery, condiments, coffee cups, bags and takeaway packaging.
Around a third of district businesses need to sign up in order to achieve ‘plastic-free status’.
The scheme has been developed by Surfers Against Sewage to establish 125 plastic free communities by 2020. Towns must follow guidelines provided by the charity to achieve a Plastic Free Community status.
Jo added: “We are making great progress and there is still so much more to do. We ask the local community to join our Facebook page to see which businesses are taking part and support these businesses in our towns. We are always on the look out for volunteers as well so please contact us if you would like to get involved in any way, big or small, it all helps!”
Search Plastic Free Leamington on Facebook for more information.