New strategy to reduce plastic waste approved for Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire County Council has approved a new strategy to reduce plastic waste and encourage suppliers and residents to do the same.

Thursday, 25th July 2019, 7:20 am
Cambridgeshire County Council has approved a new strategy to reduce plastic waste. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The strategy commits the council to sending no plastic packaging to landfill by 2025, and includes schemes such as accessible water fountains on council properties and creating a list of eateries offering a zero-plastic lunch.

The council will also aim to reduce plastic in its supply chain and cut out “avoidable” single-use plastics.

The plan was met with unanimous approval at the county’s Full Council meeting.

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Conservative Anna Bailey, who first brought the motion calling for a plastics strategy, said it was “excellent” to see it come to fruition.

The strategy stops short of eliminating single-use plastics completely, or setting firm restrictions on contractors, but Cllr Bailey insisted “there has always got to be caveats,” noting the use of single-use plastics in medical devices.

Asked if the strategy goes as far as possible within the council’s power, she said: “As far as everything the current situation allows – I think it’s really good”. But she said “there are financial realities” and the council’s influence needs to line up with government and residents to have the desired effect.

“The really important thing is changing the culture,” she said. “I think the action plan and monitoring means we can scrutinise ourselves, and if we don’t make progress councillors will speak up.

“We need to get our own house in order before we can start wagging our finger at other people.”

Ben Hatton, Local Democracy Reporting Service