Report of the Reducing Single Use Plastics in Lancashire Task and Finish Group
- Meeting of Internal Scrutiny Committee, Friday, 18th January, 2019 10.00 am (Item 5.)
- View the background to item 5.
The Chair welcomed County Councillor Gina Dowding, Chair of the Reducing Single Use Plastics (SUP) in Lancashire Task and Finish Group, to the meeting. The report presented provided the findings of task and finish group.
The committee noted that there had already been some successes across the County Hall complex. Plastic cups had been removed for staff and in public areas such as the Committee floor and replaced with glassware. A number of packaging items and the cutlery and hot drink cups and lids in the Reflections café had been replaced with new material that was fully biodegradable Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) had now extended the types of plastics they collected to include pots, tubs and trays.
The recommendations from the task and finish group had been split into short, medium and long term recommendations as it was acknowledged that much of the desired change could only take place once existing contracts with suppliers had expired. The task and finish group now wanted the Heads of Service f to look in more detail a the more difficult issues such as food packaging, cleaning materials etc. and introduce internal targets for the reduction of SUP use.
Another important recommendation to get members up to speed on the whole issue of plastics, was No. 7: a Bite Size Briefing be held for County Councillors on the issues of plastic waste and what was being done to address this and what role county councillors could play. It was felt this should be arranged as soon as possible.
It was important to target families and child care facilities and ensure that people were aware of the significant issues that could be caused by baby wipes, often many of which contained plastic in them. Many of these wipes were being flushed away and causing blockages in the sewage systems.
In terms of posters being displayed in all county buildings to promote, educate and encourage the council's workforce to help with the reduction of SUP products, the committee felt social media graphics should also be incorporated which could then be shared with constituents and local businesses.
Regarding engaging with schools, it was important to use the School's Forum to push the ideas forward. There needed to be a budget found for educating all county staff, the public and other organisations.
Regarding plastic litter being disposed of on grass verges, the committee was informed that the collection of this litter lay with the borough councils and the county council cut the grass verges. There needed to be coordination between the borough councils and the county council as to when grass cutting took place to ensure that litter needed to be picked up before the cutting of the verges. The committee was in agreement regarding LCC to invest in moveable signs that could help deter the public from littering from their cars.
Resolved: The Internal Scrutiny Committee;
i. Support the recommendations of the task and finish group.
ii. Consider writing to Central Government in regards to setting out legislation for the banning of sky lanterns across Lancashire.
iii. Receive an update report in six months' time.
iv. Arrange a Bite Size Briefing for county councillors on the issues of plastic waste and what was being done to address this and what role county councillors could play.
- Report, item 5. PDF 93 KB View as DOC (5./1) 146 KB
- Appendix A, item 5. PDF 722 KB View as DOC (5./2) 1 MB