General News

Tories slam lack of action to ban single use plastic by Labour administration

Besi Besemar November 16, 2018

Council's single use plastic poster
Council’s single use plastic poster

Conservative Group on Brighton & Hove City Council calls out Labour Administration for lip-service regarding banning single use plastic.

It is a year since Conservative Cllr Steve Bell raised a Notice of Motion calling for a ban on the purchase of single use plastics in all Brighton and Hove City Council buildings and council funded agencies.

The Notice of Motion also called for businesses with which the council engage, via procurement, to support the banning of these consumables. However the use of plastics are still rife in and around the city.

Cllr Steve Bell
Cllr Steve Bell

Criticising the Council today, Cllr Steve Bell said: “Twelve months since the Council unanimously agreed to lead by example and stop the use of single use plastics all we have to show is a few polite signs. We have had report after report; but now is the time to stop talking and start acting.”

The country produces roughly 300 million tons of plastic each year, half of which is disposable. Although plastic will not biodegrade, it will break down into tiny particles after many years, the process of which releases toxic chemicals which make their way into our food and water supply. Single use plastics are also a major source of marine litter.

Cllr Bell added: “Events such a Pride and the Brighton Marathon left the city littered with these environmentally damaging plastics. By compelling organisers wanting to hold events in our city to ban these consumables we could go a long way towards changing the culture of usage of plastic products for the wider public and truly lead by example.”

Cllr Gill Mitchell
Cllr Gill Mitchell

Responding for the administration, Cllr Mitchell, Chair of Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “Brighton and Hove City Council is committed to taking responsibility of its own to tackle the impact of single use plastics on the environment and society.  We are doing this in a number of ways and bring action plans and updates to council committees of which Cllr Bell will be aware.

“We are reducing the councils own use of SUPs across departments, including contract procurement, led by a senior officer Board, as well as working with Biosphere partners, event organisers, local environmental groups and campaigns.

Conservative Councillors are well aware of this work and would do well to lobby their own government to take action on the amount of plastic being produced, particularly plastics that cannot be reprocessed.  It is shameful that 63% of UK plastic collected for recycling is being exported and ending up in landfill in the exporting countries and the government should be taking the lead to stop this practice.”