Council committed to tackling single-use plastic during coronavirus crisis

In 2019 Telford & Wrekin Council committed to remove single-use plastics from its operations and activities, replacing them with sustainable alternatives by 2023.

The Council’s Cabinet will consider a report on the progress of this commitment at its next meeting on Thursday 8 October.

Over the past 12 months, the Council has worked to develop an action plan that sets out how the Council will reduce its own use of single-use plastic and how it will encourage and promote plastic free initiatives in the borough. 

The Council has made good progress in delivering its action plan and has received a national Green Innovation award from the Association of Public Service Excellence for the work done by its Catering and Cleaning Teams to reduce single-use plastics.

Images of popular UK beauty spots devastated by plastic pollution have become the norm and since lockdown has been lifted there has been a visible increase in plastic pollution due to Personal Protective Equipment littering of face masks and gloves.

During Recycling Week the Council launched a campaign to encourage residents to choose reusable face coverings that can be washed and re-worn, instead of disposable options. 

Councillor Carolyn Healy, cabinet member for climate change, said: “We remain committed to our target of replacing single use plastic items with sustainable alternatives by 2023.

“The coronavirus crisis has created a whole new plastic waste problem with face coverings now mandatory across the country at indoor venues. We’ve even seen discarded face masks at many of our own local beauty spots, including at the Wrekin.

“We really want to encourage our residents to think about the impact of the plastic items they use and choose to reuse when they can.”

The plastic free commitment made by the Council sits within the wider Climate Change Becoming Carbon Neutral Action Plan due to the direct link between the production of plastics and climate change. Progress against these actions will next be reported in February 2022.