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Reducing reliance on single use plastics

09 April 2018

Councillor Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council Council Leader, Councillor Kay Cutts explains how the Council will be doing its bit to support the national campaign to reduce reliance on single-use, disposable plastics.

None of us want to see our wildlife, waterways and food chain threatened. 

Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic each year. Half of it is from plastic which is only used once, which can’t be recycled, isn’t biodegradable and is filling up our oceans - hence the devastating impact on our oceans and marine life.

But it isn’t all bad news. The introduction of the 5p plastic bag made a huge impact. The amount of plastic bags produced has been cut by a staggering 80 per cent.

It shows if we all make a simple change in the way we use plastics it can make an enormous difference.

We are now making small changes across our premises after our council unanimously agreed to try and reduce our reliance on single use plastics.

Hundreds of hot drinks are sold each day at our council buildings, so we’ll soon be introducing reusable cups for staff and visitors to buy.

We are also speaking to our suppliers about biodegradable alternatives for our current one-use plastic cutlery and food packaging, making sure we continue to make best use of tax payers’ money.

We already serve 40,000 meals a day across the county’s schools using traditional plates, however we are looking into whether any alternatives to one-use plastic items are needed.

Our residents are of course already recycling plastic bottles, yoghurt pots and margarine tubs. We are committed to working with Veolia, our waste management partners, to try and maximise the amount of plastic and other materials which can be recycled.

As major buyer of local products and service, we want to encourage our supply chain and other public bodies to make a similar commitment.

Some retailers are beginning to change their packaging so we can avoid using plastics in the first place.

There’s a long way to go. The national target for eradicating this type of waste is by 2042. But if we all make small changes it can make a difference, just like the 5p plastic bag campaign did.

Councillor Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council

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