Drive to eliminate unnecessary plastic waste at County Hall

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A drive to eliminate single-use plastics and avoid unnecessary plastic waste has been launched by West Sussex County Council.

The authority will carry out a full audit of all the plastic it uses across its buildings and set targets for reduction as part of a plastics action plan published on Tuesday (May 28).

The council has made a commitment to find alternatives to plastic wherever possible and to use recycled plastic when it isn’t and will also ensure that where possible, plastic items they do use can be reused or recycled.

Deborah Urquhart, cabinet member for environment, said: “The environmental impact of single-use plastics is undeniable and thanks to programmes such as Blue Planet we have seen a growing movement to reduce our reliance on plastics and seek alternatives.

“We are recycling more than ever – with 7,000 tonnes of plastic sent to be recycled in West Sussex last year. However, many single-use plastic items can’t be recycled or are simply thrown away.

“We want to lead by example and ensure we are working towards eliminating single-use and unnecessary plastics wherever possible for our staff, residents, and businesses.”

The publication of the plastics action plan comes as the county council is about to launch a major new campaign to encourage people to pledge their support to reduce the impact of climate change.

The West Sussex climate pledge will launch on World Environment Day on Wednesday June 5.

Part of the West Sussex climate pledge campaign will involve encouraging people to #PassOnPlastic.

The county council is already supporting the national Refill campaign to encourage people to use a reusable bottle and fill up with tap water. There are four publicly accessible Refill points in county council buildings.

It has also taken steps to improve recycling for staff, and has replaced plastic cutlery and takeaway containers in its main canteen with items made from wood, metal, paper or card.