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Council leaders propose pledge to cut single use plastics

Chesterfield Borough Council is set to pledge to cut the use of single use plastics from its operations as part of the authority’s climate change commitment.

A motion has been proposed by Deputy Leader, Cllr Amanda Serjeant, which sets out how the council will review its own practices and seek to remove single use plastics from its service delivery and supply chain over the coming years.

It is due to be considered by the full council meeting on 16 December.

Cllr Serjeant, who put forward the motion to declare a climate change emergency in Chesterfield in 2019, said: “Many of us will have seen disturbing images of the effect of plastic pollution on the earth’s environment. Globally, the UK is the second largest producer of plastic waste per capita and it’s vital that we act.

“While all plastics can end up littering our countryside, killing wildlife, or clogging rivers, single use plastics are frequently the worst culprits. Disposable plastic, while easy to discard, does not decompose over any meaningful timeframe so the problem is building year on year.

“The council provides hundreds of services to the borough and by continuing to change the way we do business we can make a significant contribution to the reduction of single use plastic waste locally.

“Our services have already begun to take steps to limit the waste we create internally, but this motion seeks to formalise our commitment – we take our community leadership role seriously, and it’s important we lead by example on key issues like this.”

The motion proposes that, where possible, the council will remove single use plastics from its operations – by engaging with suppliers and switching to alternative products.

As part of its Climate Change Action Plan, local people and businesses will continue to be encouraged to also make the switch, and the council will promote plastic free initiatives including the Plastic Free Chesterfield campaign.

Greg Hewitt, Community Lead of Plastic Free Chesterfield, welcomed the move.

He said: "We are delighted that the council has proposed this motion, which a significant moment on our journey to make Chesterfield an accredited Plastic Free Community.

"We look forward to working with the council to support our group as well as future plastic free initiatives. We also hope this will lead to the wider community signing up to support our cause to take action and reduce single use plastics in the borough."

First published on 10 December 2020 Last updated on 21 June 2021