Canterbury District Green Party is delighted that our Council has passed a motion stating it will work to reduce the use of single-use plastics to an absolute minimum. Coming in the week when MPs have proposed a 25p charge on disposable coffee cups, the news of our own Council's decision on reducing single-use plastics makes a really positive start to the new year.
8 million metric tonnes of plastic waste pollute the seas each year and by 2050 the weight of plastic in the oceans is predicted to exceed that of fish, posing a risk to marine life and to human health. In 2016, one third of fish surveyed on our south coast contained plastic... How do your fish and chips taste now?
Those of us who watched albatross chicks being fed plastic by parent birds in Blue Planet II will be fully aware of how serious this worldwide problem is. It is sobering to think that the average time a plastic straw is used, for example, is 20 minutes but it'll stay around as a potential hazard for 600 years.
We are heartened to find that our Council is taking this problem seriously and planning to reduce its use of single-use plastics, also encouraging local businesses to do the same. We are proud that Canterbury District will be joining the growing number of local authorities all over the world which are taking this action and hope that, when this motion is discussed in the Community Committee, some targets and deadlines can be set for the reduction and eventual banning of single-use plastics usage by the Council and by its service suppliers.
The Committee could also encourage all organisations in our District to take the Plastic Free Pledge online, to provide an excellent example to their staff and customers. Perhaps it could also advise dog owners that those two plastic bags they need to have when out with their dogs should be biodegradable.