Council commits to further reduce single use plastics

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Published: Thursday 06 Jun 2019 by Fife Council

 

At today’s Environment, Protective Services & Community Safety Committee members heard that the council has successfully cut single use plastic cups, teaspoons and straws from its main buildings, and plastic teaspoons from schools.

 

Members also agreed to take further steps to cut single use plastic cups, cutlery and straws from all Fife Council buildings, including Fife Sports & Leisure Trust and ONFife Cultural Trust, that will further reduce the amount of single use plastics used by the council.

 

The council’s ‘Cut it Out’ campaign was launched earlier this year and is successfully minimising the use of plastics that are used once, even if the item or material can be recycled afterwards.

 

Plastics cups, teaspoons and straws were chosen as there were significant amounts of these items used by Fife Council. Plastic teaspoons were the most common piece of cutlery used, accounting for 64% of all single use plastic cutlery used.

 

Employees welcomed the challenge to reduce the use of plastics and to reuse more. A recent survey showed that council employees are supportive of the change, with 91% of respondents agreeing with the aim to cut single use plastics. Respondents also felt that Fife Council used too much single use plastics (71%).

 

As agreed today, from October 2019, plastic cutlery, cups and straws will be cut from all Fife Council buildings - including Fife Sports & Leisure Trust and ONFife Cultural Trust. An audit showed that approximately 1,466,000 items of plastic cutlery were used across council buildings each year.

 

The council also committed to work more closely with relevant local community groups.

 

Cllr Ross Vettraino, Fife Council’s Convener of the Environment, Protective Services and Community Safety Committee, said: “Our throw-away culture is having a devastating impact on our environment, and that’s why Fife Council is committed to reducing plastics consumption. It is pleasing that the council's staff are supporting this campaign, which is helping make a positive difference to our planet.

 

 “Before the start of the campaign, there were 150,000 plastic cups and 18,000 plastic straws used every year. Fife Council is now cutting these further and removing the 1,460,000 items of plastic cutlery used each year, as well as a range of other single use plastics. The council is pleased that partners, employees and customers are joining us on the journey to eliminate them.

 

“The council is also urging Fife businesses and Fifers to take the same simple step and avoid the use of single use plastic, wherever possible.”

 

As part of the council’s drive to work towards the elimination of single use plastics, suppliers are now required to consider reducing single use plastic packaging. Contractors to Fife Council should, as much as practicably possible:

  • Eliminate unnecessary packaging
  • Reduce packaging
  • Where packaging is required:  Use reusable packaging, use alternatives to plastic packaging and use packaging designed and produced in such a way as to facilitate recovery, including recycling, and have a minimal impact on the environment when disposed of.
  •  

A register of single use plastics used by Fife Council is now available on FifeDirect and will be further developed this year.

 

The project to reduce single use plastics is managed by Resource Efficient Solutions, Fife Council’s arms-length company.

 

In August 2018 the committee agreed to support the move towards removing single use plastics, and support the establishment of a cross-council working group to implement change.

 

Ross J Vettraino OBE, Councillor 
Tel: 07852 330 044 Contact Ross J Vettraino OBE online
By Post: Fife council, Fife House North Street, Glenrothes,KY7 5LT

Ross J Vettraino OBE, Councillor 
Tel: 07852 330 044 Contact Ross J Vettraino OBE online
By Post: Fife council, Fife House North Street, Glenrothes,KY7 5LT

Ross J Vettraino OBE, Councillor 
Tel: 07852 330 044 Contact Ross J Vettraino OBE online
By Post: Fife council, Fife House North Street, Glenrothes,KY7 5LT
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