Today (Tuesday April 10) the city council set up a stall in Lancaster’s Market Square to introduce the campaign and talk to members of the public on how they can play their part in tackling the problem.
Alongside this the council created a visual representation of just how many plastic bottles are needlessly thrown away each day, many of which end up in landfill.
The campaign focusses on reducing single use plastic bottles and disposable coffee cups with the simple message of reduce, refill, recycle:
Reduce: Cut down our use of single use plastic and disposable coffee cups
Refill: Use a refillable water or coffee mug instead of single use plastic or cups
Recycle: Plastic bottles are recyclable – make sure you recycle all you can
Coun Andrew Kay, Chair of a cross-party working group set up to tackle the problem of plastic waste, explained: “The council already has a fantastic kerbside scheme for people to recycle their plastic waste at home.
“The problem is that while you’re out and about it’s very easy to buy a bottle of water or a takeaway coffee and none of the waste that’s thrown away in litter bins is currently recycled.
“About two thirds of the waste in litter bins is made up of plastic waste and disposable cups so that’s a massive amount that has to go to landfill.
“We want to encourage people to reduce this massive amount of waste by making a few simple changes.
“By reducing the amount of waste produced in the first place by carrying a refillable bottle for water or a travel mug for coffee will make a huge difference. If people can’t avoid buying a single use bottle then recycling is the next best option by taking it home and putting it out for collection.”
To aid the campaign the council is drawing up plans to install water fountains so people can top up their refillable water bottles. Initially these could be on the council’s own land in Williamson Park in Lancaster, Happy Mount Park in Morecambe.
Biodegradable coffee cups have also been introduced in Williamson Park and measures have been taken to eliminate the sale of non-recyclable single-use take-out cups, slush cups, plastic straws and cutlery.
These products have been replaced with fully compostable ‘vegware’, vegetable oil, paper and bamboo products.
Coun Brendan Hughes, Cabinet member with responsibility for parks and open spaces, added: “Williamson Park is setting a great example that we hope other businesses will follow. The council is also going to be working with event organisers and asking that if they’re being held on council land that they only use sustainable packaging.
“These simple measures alone are a great starting point but we’ll be announcing more initiatives in the months and years to come as part of our commitment to reducing plastic waste that is having such a harmful effect on the environment.”
Last updated: 11 April 2018