Nottingham City Council has pledged to phase out its use of single-use plastic by 2023.
Among the actions the council plans to take are reducing its use of plastic at public events, promoting the use of refillable water bottles and replacing recycling bags with wheelie bins.
The council’s Energy Services Team will set up a voluntary Plastics Taskforce to lead the actions needed to help it meet its goal.
Growing public concern about the environment and the impact of plastics on natural landscapes were the reasons the council gave for deciding to make the move.
Sally Longford, deputy leader of Nottingham City Council and portfolio holder for energy, environment, and democratic services, said: ‘I have been working with various teams to address ways in which we can become less reliant on single-use plastics.
This is not a simple task and each area of the council will have its own priorities to be considered.
‘We are determined to do our bit to respond to the climate emergency because as a responsible large employer we can have a big impact.
‘We also want to lead by example and show others what they can do to improve their impact on the environment.’
Nottingham City Council intends to boost promotion of the city’s successful Refill campaign, which encourages local businesses to offer citizens free water refills.
Later this summer the city will also hold a local launch of Global Action Plan’s reusable lunchbox campaign Long Live The Lunchbox.
The council’s waste collection team will now start the process of phasing out recycling bags at the city’s apartments by opening negotiation with each building’s management.
The council plans to conduct a full audit to fully understand the extent of its use of single-use plastics, while it is already engaging its workforce to encourage staff to change their behaviour.
The council’s Plastics Taskforce will continue to research and engage with other parts of the community such as schools and faith groups.
The move comes after councils across the country were urged to be more aware of the amount of single-use plastic waste they produce.
A Freedom of Information request to 108 UK local authorities earlier this year revealed that only 38% of councils could provide details of how many plastic bottles that they’d bought in the last five years, while over half of them didn’t know how many bottles they’d recycled or sent to landfill.
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