Council takes action against single-use plastics
Single-use plastics will be targeted in Haringey after the council committed to working with schools, businesses and other partners to reduce their use and improve the environment.
As part of the council’s commitment to respond to the climate emergency and improve sustainability across its own operations and in the borough, the decision to implement the Single Use Plastics Policy and Action Plan was agreed during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 15 September.
Every year, 8m tonnes of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans, killing more than a million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals. More than 80% of marine litter is plastic, and single use items, such as plastic bottles or straws, are some of the most commonly found plastics in the world’s oceans.
Single-use plastics can take hundreds of years to break down, releasing harmful micro-plastics in the process – making it a long-term pollutant. Reducing consumption across the Council’s offices and the borough will save money, reduce waste, improve the environment, and decrease the amount of harmful plastics ending up in the world’s oceans or in landfill.
The Single Use Plastics Policy and Action Plan sets out clear objectives for the Council around the reduction of SUPs, both in the Council and across the borough – and the council will work with partners, community groups, charities, school, businesses, and residents to ensure that this ambition is achieved.
In particular the Plan aims to:
- Set new policies and standards in the Council’s Procurement process to ensure that SUPs are reduced and are a contractual requirement.
- Work in partnership with North London Waste Authority to reduce the use of SUP with the borough’s schools.
- Parking Tickets will now be issued in biodegradable bags (glassine and kraft paper) replacing plastic packaging. Saving over 100,000 small single use plastic bags per year.
- Partner with event organisers to eliminate avoidable SUPs at events held on Council land and share best practice more widely with stakeholders.
- Collaborate with the GLA and Thames Water to install free water fountains in key locations across the borough, enabling quick and free refills for water.
- Work in partnership with North London Waste authority to reduce the use of SUP with local businesses.
Haringey Council has already taken bold steps to reduce SUPs, such as working with the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) on a low-plastic zone in Crouch End, reducing SUPs in Council offices and getting businesses signed up to refill schemes.
As part of the work to reduce SUPs, the council became one of the very first Local Authorities in London to implement the use of degradable PCN-holders.
The council purchases approximately 150,000 of bags for the use in parking tickets annually. Moving to paper-based degradable bags means that they will break down in a managed landfill site in three to six months as opposed to hundreds of years for the traditional type.
This means, through switching to degradable PCN holders, the council will prevent the use of enough single-use plastics to cover a space approximately the size of The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, over the course of two years.
Cllr Hearn, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Sustainability at Haringey Council, said:
“I commend this report and action plan. Every year, 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the world's oceans, killing more than a million sea birds and ten thousand marine mammals. The plastic which we throw away will pollute for hundreds of years.
“Our throw-away society is messing up the world. Acting to stop using single-use plastic will drastically reduce plastic pollution. The Council, working with communities, and business, and our strategic partners, is determined to reduce our carbon footprint and be more environmentally friendly in everything we do.
“We know that residents are also keen to see the reduction of single use plastics in the borough. The Council has listened to these concerns and this new Action Plan is one way in which the Council is responding. We will make Haringey a single-use plastic free Borough.
“We hope all local authorities follow our pioneering work to help make a real impact to reducing plastic use in the UK”
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