William Eichler 30 September 2016

Norwich council to abolish single-use plastic products

Norwich council to abolish single-use plastic products image

Norwich City Council has committed itself to becoming a single-use-plastic-free authority by the end of 2017.

Green councillors introduced a motion this week designed to end the sale and provision of single-use plastic (SUP) products - throwaway cups, plates cutlery etc. - in all council buildings.

The council’s cabinet, which passed the motion, also resolved to encourage the city’s institutions, businesses and citizens to follow suit.

Each year an estimated eight million metric tons of plastic waste ends up in the world’s oceans, endangering marine life.

The move is a part of a council drive to reduce this by tackling what it describes as ‘our throwaway culture’.

The policy follows on from the introduction last year of the charge for carrier bags - a decision which led to an 85% reduction in the number of bags being given to customers.

Cllr Martin Schmierer, leader of the Green Group at Norwich City Council, said that there was ‘considerable precedent’ for the decision.

‘Approximately 18 months ago, Oxford council decided to ban non-recyclable food containers,’ he told LocalGov.

‘New York City is also fighting to join a number of other USA and even other countries in introducing such a policy, with France for instance seeking to end the use of so-called “single-use plastics” by the end of the decade.’

‘Plastics, in particular styrofoam packaging, have been going out of favour for several decades with Berkeley, California, outlawing them as early as the 1980s and today there is a growing popular demand for action to do what is best for our planet,’ he continued.

‘Consequently, Green Party councillors on Norwich City Council were pleased to follow in the footsteps of others and support such an initiative.’

Cllr Schmierer warned this was just ‘a first step’ and said it will take time for the wider changes outlined in the motion to be implemented.

Responding to a LocalGov question concerning the financial implications of the move, the councillor said: ‘Although it is far to early to provide definitive figures about how much this policy will save or cost the local economy in Norwich, it is clear that the environmental benefits could be enormous, especially if the charge on plastic bags is anything to go by.’

Declaring a climate change emergency image

Declaring a climate change emergency

Local authorities can play a key role in tackling climate change – and there is plenty for them to do. Never before has thinking globally and acting locally been more important, says Mark Whitehead.
Open letter to Boris Johnson image

Open letter to Boris Johnson

The MJ's editor Heather Jameson asks the new PM a simple question: do you want to fund local government or do you want to scale back services to the basics?
Highways jobs

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32,029 - £34,788 per annum
Currently seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

ESCA Development Assistant

Essex County Council
£20000 - £22200 per annum + Excellent Benefits Package
ESCA Development Assistants will work at the heart of the team to deliver administrative tasks in support of all programmes and projects across Children & Families and Adults and financial monitoring. England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

ASC Senior Social Worker - Physical & Sensory Impairment Team

Essex County Council
£38400 - £46475 per annum
Job Purpose ECC Adult Social Care, through effective practice, is moving towards a transformational shift from a focus on long-term care support, to a England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Operational and Commercial Services

Copeland Borough Council
£66,273.48 per annum
Looking for a professional with ambition and inspirational leadership qualities, with operational service and... Cumbria
Recuriter: Copeland Borough Council

Customer Service Assistant

Brent Council
£22,779 - £24,030 p.a. Inc.
An exciting and challenging opportunity has arisen within the Customer Services section. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine