BID TO MAKE LAMBETH A ‘PLASTIC-FREE AUTHORITY BY APRIL FAILS – (It might as well wait until December – Labour)- AND RECYCLING IS DOWN IN LAMBETH, SAY GREEN PARTY CAMPAIGNERS
A move by Green party Cllr Scott Ainslie to make Lambeth a plastic-free authority by April failed at the last council meeting when Labour councillors decided it might as well wait until December.
Cllr Ainslie’s motion called 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’*
Labour councilors backed an amendment which deleted the word ‘April’ and amended one 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 – but the claim of improved recycling has since been questioned. (Please see separate story below – Ed.)
Cllr Ainslie said: “I’m disappointed Labour altered the motion to show they only commit to ‘exploring’ this, and extended the deadline by eight months.
“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.
“By the end of this year 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.
“Lambeth’s recycling rate in 2010 was 27 per cent. “It set itself a target of to recycle 50 pc of waste by 2017/18 in its waste strategy, but only has an annual rate of 28.8pc, and ranks in 21st place among London boroughs for recycling.
“Lambeth council were caught by the Green party trying to artificially boost its recycling figures in 2014 to cover up its failure, by including the residue for its dirty, polluting waste incineration, which is used to build roads.
“Lambeth council also promised to clamp down on engine idling but has so far failed to issue a single fine for this offence.
“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.
“What I want, and what I think most of the 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.
“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.”
*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
RECYCLING DOWN IN LAMBETH, SAY GREEN PARTY CAMPAIGNERS
Boastful claims by Lambeth Labour that they have improved recycling in their cleaner, greener borough are….rubbish, say Green party campaigners.
Lambeth council revealed the figures following a members enquiry by Green party Cllr Scott Ainslie revealing that they recycled an even lower proportion of waste in 2016-17 than in the previous two years.
“This is despite Lambeth Labour boasting of ‘improved recycling’ in their ‘greener, cleaner borough’ motion at the council meeting on 24th January.
The full details for the last three years are:
2014/5 Recycling 25,977 tonnes (30.32pc) Incineration 59,700 tonnes (69.68pc)
2015/6 Recycling 26,047 tonnes (30.44pc) Incineration 59,520 tonnes (69.56pc)
2016/7 Recycling 26,795 tonnes (29.83pc) Incineration 63,029 tonnes (70.17pc)
Herne Hill Green party campaigner and former councillor Becca Thackray said: “The council’s cabinet have no grounds to feel proud of the borough’s recycling rates.
“The recycling of park user waste, piloted in Brockwell Park, has lacked political energy and imagination from the outset.
“It cannot be a lack of central government funds which prevents Labour from tackling the issue. “It is far more costly to transport waste for incineration than reduce, re-use and separate it.”
Becca, who was a councillor for Herne Hill ward from 2006-10, said a cross-party Climate Change Commission in 2007, had expressed ‘disappointment that the council does not collect recycling from outside of businesses, particularly as there is a real keenness from business to be involved in environmental projects, for example the 95 pc participation rate in Clapham Park’.