Councillor Kate Parkinson was the original proposer of the Notice of Motion but was unable to attend the meeting, so Councillor Tony Dean (the original seconder) read a statement on her behalf. The statement noted the councils vision for an open, fair and green in its Corporate Plan and requested the Committee encourage the banning of single use plastic from its operations within six months, to promote the use of filtered water fountains and taps within Cheshire East and ESAR buildings and to encourage Councillors to bring their own water flasks and mugs into buildings.
The recycling for mixed plastics was not always easy and often was incinerated or sent to landfill. West Park, Macclesfield was currently trialling a waste recycling bin, encouraging the general public to dispose of their plastic waste more carefully. Cheshire East was the 5th highest area in the country for household waste disposal and costs £33 million per year from this Council’s Environmental department budget. While this includes waste from parks, gardens and commercial businesses, the amount of money we spend to get rid of our plastic waste is in the region of £500k.
Councillor Tony Dean then addressed the Committee as the original seconder of the Notice of Motion, he advised the Committee that in 2018 there had been a similar Notice of Motion to eliminate Single Use plastics throughout the councils facilities management supply chain by 2020. This motion was approved and implemented but the evaluation report was never concluded.
Councillor Dean would reaffirm the requirement to remove single use plastics from operations, with the caveat that it can only be used when there is no safe equivalent for health reasons in relation to food.
The Committee noted there was no current baseline of single use plastics, this would be useful to have data to scrutinise against.
The Committee requested that when the report was scheduled that a specialist officer attend the meeting to answer any recycling specific detailed questions that Members might have.
That the original motion from 2018 to ban single use plastics proceed and that officers produce a report on the current use of single use plastics across the council be submitted to this Committee for further scrutiny.