Moves to make Lambeth a ‘plastic-free’ authority by April are proposed in a motion at next Wednesday’s council meeting by Green party Cllr Scott Ainslie.
A Labour amendment wants to delay the move until December.
Cllr Ainslie’s motion – which will not be debated – calls for:
ending the sale and provision of SUP (single use plastic) products such as bottles, cups, cutlery and drinking straws in council buildings, and work with tenants and operators in commercial properties owned by Lambeth council to do the same at meetings and events;
investigating the possibility of requiring pop-up food and drink vendors at council events to avoid SUPs as a condition of their contract;
encouraging the borough’s businesses, organisations and residents to go ‘single-use-plastic-free’ working with best practice partners to explore the creation of a ‘plastic free network,’ providing business support, practical guidelines and advice to help local businesses transition from SUPs to sustainable alternatives.
becoming a ‘single-use-plastic-free’ authority by the end of April 2018, phasing out the purchase and procurement of SUPs through the council’s supply chain
making Lambeth council a full signatory of the ‘Plastic Free Pledge’*
Council will monitor its progress to improve on recycling waste from buildings and parks and help residents and visitors to use alternatives, such as re-filling bottles from taps.
Labour are moving an amendment which deletes the word ‘April’ and amends the last paragraph to read: Council welcomes the progress made in increasing recycling rates since 2014 and resolves to continue to monitor its progress to improve on recycling waste from buildings and parks and help residents and visitors to use alternatives, such as re-filling bottles from taps.
Cllr Ainslie told News From Crystal Palace: “I feel passionately about this issue and feel that it’s every person and every organisation’s duty to reduce plastic use.
“The amount of plastic generated in the UK is estimated to be five million tonnes.
“More than 40 species of fish consume plastic, and and a third of the fish surveyed on the south coast of England were found to contain plastic in a 2016 survey.
“Plastic pollution alone could be costing developing and industrialised nations up to $1.27 billion annually as it threatens fishing, shipping and tourism – and this is before we even begin to talk about the obvious damage plastics do to marine life.
“Mendip district council passed a motion in December to become a “single use plastic free” council by April 2018 – this involves phasing out the use of ’single use plastic’ (SUP) products such as bottles, cups, cutlery and drinking straws in all council activities.
“It seemed reasonable to expect Lambeth council to throw equal weight behind such an idea, especially as Lambeth Labour seem very keen to prove their green credentials at the moment.
“Obviously, I’m extremely disappointed that Labour have altered the motion to show that they only commit to “exploring” these possibilities, refusing to commit to an announcement on becoming a ‘single-use plastic free’ authority until the end of 2018.
“At that point the local elections will have passed and, if the results are in their favour, they can simply opt to return to business as usual.
“Lambeth Labour cannot be considered trustworthy when it comes to environmental issues as they’ve welched on numerous promises, including recycling rates and air pollution.
“What I want, and what I think most of the general public want, is clear ACTION on this issue, not an extended period of relaxed pondering. “Time is running out as more environmental damage is done, and this is completely unsatisfactory.
“No one out greens the Greens.”
*The Plastic-Free Pledge: to reduce my consumption of non-biodegradable, plastic products by:
1. Using reusable bags at the grocery store.
2. Choosing biodegradable products and packaging over plastic.
3. Eating and drinking out of re-usable glass, metal, or other non-plastic containers.
4. Encouraging my friends, family, and community to reduce their plastics consumption, too!
Learn more at PlasticAlbatross.org