Agenda item

Single Use Plastics


It was moved by Councillor Todd and seconded by Councillor Kerr that:


This Council notes: 


  • Most plastic does not decompose; a plastic bottle can last for 450 years in the marine environment. Plastic slowly fragments into smaller pieces but never truly go away- these are known as microplastics.
  • Everyday approximately 8 million pieces of plastic are entering the oceans. Estimates suggest that by 2050 there could be more plastic in our oceans than fish.
  • Approximately 5,000 items of marine plastic pollution have been found per mile of beach in the UK. Plastic bottles and packaging make up a third of plastic pollution entering the sea. Tyre dust, maritime waste, nurdles and synthetic microfibers make up another 47% of the problem.
  • Plastic pollution causes harm to wildlife such as fish, seabirds and dolphins. Recent research has found marine plastic in 100% of marine turtles, 59% of whales, 36% of seals and 40% of seabirds. 100,000 marine mammals and turtles are killed by plastic pollution every year. 1 in 3 fish caught for human consumption contains plastic.
  • UK rivers have been found to be heavily polluted with microplastics. Recent studies have also found microplastics in both tap and bottled water.
  • The plastics crisis requires action by national and local governments to reduce plastic pollution by increasing recycling rates and eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic (SUP).


This Council believes:


  • We need to move away from a linear plastics economy, where we take, make and dispose of plastic, towards a circular system where we capture the value of plastics material - keeping plastic in the economy and out of the oceans.
  • National government are not taking decisive action to deal with the problem of plastic pollution.


This Council therefore commits to:


  • To become a full signatory of the ‘Plastic Free Pledge’ by eliminating all single-use plastics within Council managed buildings and facilities by 2020.
  • Incorporate the reduction of single-use plastic into the Council’s waste strategy, and investigate ways to further improve our recycling performance by making it easier for residents to recycle by seeking ways in which a wider range of plastics and other dry recyclable materials can go into the brown bins.
  • Consider with partners the installation of water fountains across the High Peak.
  • Work with and encourage the public, local businesses, partners and institutions to go ‘plastic free’.
  • Investigate incentivising traders on Council land to sell re-usable or non-plastic bio-degradable containers and invite customers to bring their own, with the aim of phasing out single-use plastics, including investigating the possibility of requiring food and drink vendors to avoid SUPs as a condition of their event permission.
  • Work with existing local and national groups and experts such as Keep Britain Tidy to implement these changes.
  • Ask the cabinet member responsible for the environment to write to the Government Minister for Environment, requesting that the reduction of single-use plastic form part of the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy.
  • Ensure, where practical, all future council procurement exercises eliminate the use of single-use plastics, replacing them with sustainable or re-usable alternatives where practicable.


An amendment was proposed by Councillor Flower and seconded by Councillor Douglas as follows:


The Council notes:


·         the serious concerns about plastic pollution set out by Councillor Todd and Councillor Kerr in their notice of motion (attached as Annex A), in particular relating to single use plastics

·         the proposed principles, remedies and actions set out in the notice of motion (attached as annex A)

·         the widespread public and corporate support for effective action to deal with plastic pollution.


The Council therefore requests the Chair of the Community Select Committee to establish a sub-committee to undertake appropriate research, taking into account evidence from local public sector and corporate partners with the task of recommending an effective, achievable, timed and costed plan of actions by the Council for consideration as part of the new Corporate Plan agreed for implementation during the four years after the May elections 2019.


When put to the meeting, the amendment was RESOLVED accordingly.


Supporting documents: