17 January 2018
Emily Durrant, Wales Green Party’s County Councillor and a member of the Plaid-Cymru Green Group in Llangorse, Powys, is challenging her own Council to ditch single-use plastic within the local authority’s premises and in the local community.
Locals across the county have joined the campaign and are starting to take action in supermarkets near them.
The campaign comes at a time when the Government is setting targets for plastic reduction, but campaigners say the plans are not ambitious enough. Emily said:
"Why wait until 2042 to eliminate 'avoidable' plastic waste? And what does that even mean? It's too vague and will be too little, too late. There is a lot we can be doing locally to make a difference. That's why I am proposing a motion* at the next meeting of Full Council, that asks Members to support two major actions: that we promote Powys as a major plastic reducing council and; put a strategy together that will ensure a significant reduction in plastic usage."
Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, said:
“Theresa May’s pledge to get rid of avoidable plastic waste within 25 years doesn’t go far enough fast enough and isn’t firm enough to protect our natural world. What we really need to stop tonnes of plastic clogging our oceans is bold leadership from Government with a willingness to legislate, and schemes like a Latte Levy on disposable coffee cups and a bottle deposit scheme.”
Spokesperson for Wales Green Party, Grenville Ham, said:
“Emily’s hard work on making Powys a leading plastic reducer illustrates the practical changes Greens can make when elected to local councils in Wales.
“Wales Green Party will campaign to expand the reach of ‘Plastic-Free Powys’ across Wales. The party is encouraging members and supporters to take the issue to their local council but it is important others get involved too. Clean seas and clean streets aren’t just a green issue, they are very much a local issue too. Wales Green Party will be arranging demonstrations in local communities across Wales throughout the spring 2018. This year will see us going from Plastic-Free Powys to Plastic-Free Wales.”
* Motion being presented by Cllr Emily Durrant on 25th January 2018. Seconded by Cllr Bryn Davies.
The horrors of our addiction to plastic are now common-knowledge. Plastic has an important place in our technological development and is in many ways an ingenious and revolutionary product. Nonetheless, it is time for another plastic revolution. It is time to ditch single-use plastic. On being elected to the Council in May, I was horrified by the number of single use plastic cups and single use composite cups that are used by Members, staff and visitors on a daily basis. The response to the recent ‘Plastic-free Powys’ campaign indicates that residents would likely be just as disappointed.
Will Members join me in asking that Council;
A) Promote Powys as a major plastic reducer
B) Develop a strategy to:
1. Encourage staff and residents to:
a. Carry refillable water bottles and, longer term, consider a water fountain in town centres where they can be refilled.
b. Carry reusable coffee cups and to refuse single use coffee cups when offered (for example, by placing a 5p charge on single use coffee cups in council run buildings is one idea)
c. Avoid products with micro beads and to only flush paper down their loos. Not flushing wet wipes and cotton buds and disposable contact lenses down the loo would reduce plastic in the ocean and help the sewage system.
a. Offer a biodegradable alternative and advertise a willingness to fill people's own cups
b. Use paper and not plastic straws
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