Getting rid of single-use plastic by the end of the year is the formal aim of Uckfield Town Council.
Investigations will be started into how this will be achieved.
A ban on plastics would also apply to Uckfield Civic Centre, which is run by the town council, and to events with which the authority is associated.
The move was proposed by Cllr Paul Sparks, Liberal Democrat, Uckfield North, at last night’s (April 9) full council meeting. His motion read:
“It is widely accepted that plastics cause great environmental damage.
“In view of this, Uckfield Town Council will commence on exploring alternatives with the aim of becoming a plastic-free town council by the end of 2018.
“It is envisaged that this will be a catalyst to make Uckfield a plastic free town, working with the Chamber of Commerce and other local bodies.”
The council’s decision follows a discussion sparked by this website about how households in Uckfield could cut out plastic use.
See further down the story for some of the tips our readers suggested.
Cllr Sparks said: “Clearly, we have all been aware of the environmental damage plastics do.
“It was brought home to me as far as Uckfield is concerned when I attended the Abba concert [held in the Civic Centre] a few weeks ago where plastic glasses were used to a great extent.
“I fully appreciate that there is a safety aspect with this.”
He said he believed the Civic Centre had used plastic glasses when people went into the Weald Hall but pointed out for the concert people were taking in beer and wine bottles.
A message to Uckfield
Cllr Sparks said the first step should be to undertake an audit as to how much single-use plastic was used within the town council and Civic Centre and see if an action plan could reduce and remove the use of plastic.
“It would send a message to the remainder of Uckfield that the town needs to look at this issue.
“The town council can be a leading light. I believe we would be the first town council in Wealden to go down this road.”
Cllr Diane Ward, Trust Independent, Central, asked for the town clerk to look at alternatives to using glasses and the costs.
Tips from our readers
Last month our Saturday independent columnist, Observer, asked readers what their tips were for cutting down plastic use in the home.
Some of the replies on the UckfieldNews Facebook page included:
From Dave Flint: “Not sure if it would be feasible, but I am old enough to remember pretty well everything was wrapped in paper, including raw meat and fish.”
Jill Moar agreed adding: “It’d be good to have paper instead of plastic on the deli counters.”
In a separate post, Jill said: “In the supermarkets, buy loose vegetables wherever possible and take a reusable net bag with you to put them in, or keep them loose in your shopping bags as we used to when visiting the greengrocer many years ago.
“Even use a paper mushroom bag instead of the plastic bags to hold a small amount of vegetables.”
From Mary Potter: “I try to buy only loose fruit and veg, loose tea (because tea bags have plastic in them), paper bags when available.”
Nuala Simmons said: “I’m going to give the shampoo and shower gel bars a go; I’ve seen them in Lush but I’m sure they are available In other places too. Heard great reviews and the best bit . . . no plastic at all.”
From Sue Ovens: “We are just changing to solid shampoo and conditioner bars.
“They are good, come in a paper and cardboard wrapper and last for ages.
“Also, started a milk delivery again with glass bottles. More expensive but I think worth it.
“Perhaps the supermarkets could start to do glass too?”
From Jeremy Hallett: “Plastic soap dispensers with metal springs built in can be refilled at Uckfield Fairtrade Group’s coffee mornings on the first Saturday of the month between 10 and 12 at The Source. Likewise washing up and laundry liquid bottles.”
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