Council steps up to help tackle war on plastic in Warwick district

Warwick District Council is stepping up to help combat the war on plasticin the district.
Warwick District Council is stepping up to help combat the war on plasticin the district.

More and more people are starting to take steps to help tackle the war on plastic and now Warwick District Council has also stepped up.

The district council will be asked to approve a new policy at next week’s Executive meeting, which would endorse the Government’s ‘A Green Future’ initiative as well as committing to a number of measures to reduce its own plastic footprint.

This includes avoiding where possible buying single-use plastics for food and drink, avoiding plastic bottles at election counts and working with the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Organising Committee to avoid single-use plastic.

Under the policy the council will also develop plastic reduction event guidance for events they organise and would also share this with events taking place on council-owned land.

A number of steps have already been taken by the council such as reducing plastic bottles and cups at its public venues, recycling plastic seals on ballot boxes and encouraging the use of public recycling sites.

The policy also recognises the leadership role the council can play by supporting and promoting the work that is already being done by the community, such as the Leamington and Warwick plastic- free groups and participation in the national refill scheme.

Cllr Andrew Thompson, Warwick District Council’s portfolio folder for health and community protection, said: “The environmental problems associated with plastic cannot be solved by any one organisation, but by signing up to this policy and setting an example, we hope that we can influence others in our district to join us.

“We plan to look at ways to source alternatives to plastic and we will be working in partnership with the Leamington and Warwick Plastic-Free Group to encourage communities to work together on plastics avoidance.

“Everyday acts and changes of behaviour of individuals such as using your own coffee cups and water bottles can help make a real difference.”

Jo Lally, a community leader for plastic-free communities, who is also one of the people behind ‘Plastic-Free Leamington and Warwick’, said: “I am thrilled the council is taking this move to reduce single-use plastic from its own premises and that it is looking to produce guidelines for events. It is a really positive step forward for the plastic-free community campaign that we are looking towards.

“It is a role model for what we are trying to get businesses and the public to do. If anyone is interested in reducing plastic waste they can find an action plan on our Facebook page ‘Plastic-Free Leamington and Warwick’.”

District councillor and Labour group leader Kristie Naimo said: “We asked the Executive about this earlier in the year so I’m pleased to see Warwick District Council adopting this policy as a first step towards plastic reduction in the district.

“As someone who has personally championed recycling and waste reduction for many years, I’m also particularly pleased to see a suggestion they will ‘challenge their suppliers’ as we all have a part to play in the move towards removal of single use plastics.”