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Councillors call time on single use plastics

Green Party Councillor Catherine Braun (Wotton-under-Edge), is calling on Stroud District Council to become a ‘single use plastic free’ authority, by stopping the use of these products in the Council’s supply chain, and their sale and use at the council offices and events.

Cllr Braun will introduce the motion on 26 April, seconded by Labour Councillor Paul Denney (Cam West). Green County Councillor Eva Ward (Stroud Central) brought a similar motion to Gloucestershire County Council in March – which was approved with cross-party support.

Every year an estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans, adding to the plastic debris which is putting marine life and the environment at risk.

Although plastic bottles are reprocessed through the fortnightly doorstep collection service, the majority of plastic packaging in the UK is not recycled – including the plastic film that’s used to cover many food products. Because of the plastic pollution of the oceans, fish, seafood and water are now at risk of contamination by toxic microplastics.

Cllr Braun said, “The risks of plastic to the environment and human health are now obvious – and it’s time for action. As well as reducing the Council’s own use of single use plastic, I’d like to see the District Council working with local businesses and organisations – to provide support to them to reduce their single use plastic waste.”

Many small businesses in the District are already taking a lead, responding to consumer demand for plastic-free products much more quickly than the big supermarket chains.

“In my ward of Wotton-under-Edge, there’s been huge support for the recently opened Good Food on the Edge shop on Long Street, which sells fruit and vegetables in paper bags – avoiding the need to buy a cauliflower, carrot or apple in a plastic wrapper – which is the only option in the supermarkets,” added Catherine.

A recent Wotton Green Drinks meeting on the subject of plastic-free living attracted a full house to hear Claudi Williams’ inspiring story of how she’s been living plastic-free with her family in Stroud for almost two years.

Although much more needs to be done to stop the damage plastic is causing to nature and the environment, there’s now demand for change. Local shops, like Good Food on the Edge, make it easier for consumers to make a positive plastic-free choice in their weekly shop.

Owner of Good Food on the Edge, Chris Hull, said “I’ve been really delighted with the huge customer interest and support for the new business. People in Wotton really do care about this issue and I know that because dozens of people mention it every day.”

For more information on living plastic free see Claudi William’s blog: www.pfree.co.uk

Catherine Braun with Chris Hull, owner of Good Food on the Edge, in Wotton-under-Edge

Catherine Braun with Chris Hull, owner of Good Food on the Edge, in Wotton-under-Edge

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