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Thursday, 1st Nov 2018

Time to kick plastic addiction as Green petition to be debated by Council

Thousands of people across Bristol have signed a petition to get rid of unnecessary disposable plastics started by Green Councillor Martin Fodor. The petition has received so much support that it will be debated by all councillors at Full Council. It will also receive a response from the Mayor.

The petition calls on the Mayor to take all practical steps to eliminating wasteful plastic across Bristol and has been supported by plastics campaigners across the city. Greens have been campaigning for Bristol to become single-use plastic free for many years, tabling a motion on this in both 2015 and 2016

Councillor Martin Fodor said:

“Single use disposable plastic such as coffee cups and takeaway containers take huge resources to make, and then are just thrown away. Often they end up as litter on our street and our global reliance on plastic causes untold harm for wildlife on land and at sea. There’s now plastic waste in our food, too.  It’s time to kick our singe use plastic addiction and I believe Bristol should and can readily lead the way.”

“There are so many things that Bristol City Council could be doing to support a single-use plastic ban across our city. The Council provides licences for events, traders and take-aways who often use single-use plastic containers as their default. Just imagine what an impact it could have if these licencing rules were tightened to prevent single-use containers and incentivise other options. The reduction in waste plastics on our streets and having to be cleared up by our waste company could be dramatic.”

“Greens have been calling for this since 2015, so I’m delighted the petition I started has gained so much support that it will now have to be debated by Full Council”

Former Cabinet member for waste Councillor Fi Hance said:

“We know there are a few cases where single-use plastics are essential, such as in medical treatment. But for most daily uses there are alternatives. Events such as Redfest have led the way using reusable beer cups, water refill points, and compostable food trays, so clearly it can be done.”

“The overwhelming support for this petition shows that Bristolians are way ahead of the Council on this, and want the Council to take action now. Residents have been showing their impatience at the slow pace of change by demonstrating at supermarkets around the city already. It’s time the Council did its bit and removed plastics from its own catering venues in museums and offices. ”

Notes

-          The petition on banning single-use disposable plastics has received over 4000 signatures from the 38 degrees website (https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/a-city-wide-ban-on-single-use-disposable-plastics), the Bristol City Council website (https://democracy.bristol.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=13) and in signatures collected in hard copy.

-          Green Councillors tabled motions calling for Bristol to become single-use plastic free in both 2015 (https://www.citytosea.org.uk/getting-the-council-to-do-its-bit-in-cutting-single-use-plastics/#1) and 2016 (https://democracy.bristol.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=5049). 

-          The full text of the petition is:

Petition: We the undersigned call for the Mayor to take all practical steps* to make Bristol an exemplar disposable plastic-free city.

Single use, disposable plastics such as polystyrene takeaway containers and plastic cups are a cause of litter, a waste of resources, and a problem for future generations. They waste fossil fuels and create unsightly streets, and their persistence causes untold harm for wildlife on land and at sea.

While accepting that there are a few cases where single-use plastics are essential, such as in medical treatment, for most uses there are alternatives. But to achieve this, many people have to play their part, including users, traders, and those organising events and providing services in the city.

The Council needs to play a leading role as champion, active supporter, regulator, and service provider in ending the prevalence of single use, disposable plastics. We the undersigned therefore call on the Mayor of Bristol to support and enforce a ban on single use plastic packaging and containers, including through events licensing, as a provider of services, as a partner working with other organisations, and through media and education.

* Things the Mayor can do include:
Specifying how the council’s own events and facilities are run – setting a better example!
Changing events rules.
Procurement choices that specify alternatives.
Helping bulk buy compostable packaging for traders via Bristol Waste Company.
Better promotion of recycling and composting facilities and services where they are needed.
Licensing rules being amended for street traders and takeaways.
Better enforcement of littering sanctions.
Educational initiatives.
Using council media work to promote the ban.
Lobbying government for better powers to control waste.

Started by: Cllr Martin Fodor

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