Plans to reduce single-use plastics to be discussed by Cabinet

Finding ways to dramatically cut the use of single use plastics across the city will be the topic of debate at Cardiff Council's Cabinet meeting on Thursday 15, November.

The Cabinet are to discuss the issue in response to a Council motion presented in March, which called on Cabinet to look at ways to regulate single-use plastics.

Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment, Cllr Michael Michael said: "Single-use plastics are disposable plastics which are only used once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items are things like plastic bags, cotton buds, coffee stirrers, straws, water bottles and food packaging.

"The issue of SUPs has dominated the headlines recently and we are aware of the vast amount of plastic items which are not recycled and are therefore having a harmful effect on the environment.

"This is an issue which affects us all. We want officers to begin to draw up an action plan which could see SUPs reduced in our city. Once we have some clear proposals we will take it to the member for consultation to secure their support."

At the moment the council works with community groups including Keep Wales Tidy, Cardiff Rivers Group and Love Where you Live which help the authority remove, collect and recycle plastics from our waterways and around the bay area.

Cllr Michael said that as well as continuing to work with community groups he also wants the Council to look at a raft of measures which could help reduce the use of SUPs in the authority itself, setting an example for other businesses.

He added: "I want to thank the community groups for all the great work that they do in this area and I want to let them know that I back them in their desire to create a greener city. I will task officers with looking at ways in which the Council can reduce SUP usage within the authority in the first instance and to look at how we can promote alternatives across the city moving forward."

Some of the ideas which are being discussed include:

  •            Working with Refill to promote water refill stations. There are already 72 locations in Cardiff which offer free tap water including Council libraries and Hubs. The Council will seek funding to install refill stations in other sites.
  •            Carrying out reviews into recycling markets of difficult materials such as car tyres, single-use coffee cups, UPVC double glazing and hard plastics. A polystyrene recycling trial has already taken place and the Council will be asked to continue researching markets for recycling.
  •            Continuing to work with partners to reduce the negative impacts of single-use plastics, including our key city partners.
  •            Reduce the use of single use plastic bottles in Council buildings and phase out their use in events promoted or hosted by the Council.
  •            End the use of other single use plastic products in Council building starting with (but not limited to) ‘disposable cups', cutlery and drinking straws. 

Cllr Michael added: "By drafting a plastic policy we aim to act by example, reducing our own consumption of single-use plastics, while encouraging others to take similar action. We have already taken steps to implement this, but we recognise there is a long way to go in protecting our environment."