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Council votes to reduce use of plastic bottles

Chris Satori

A bid to encourage more residents and businesses to do their bit to reduce the number of plastic bottles ending up in landfill and the sea has been supported unanimously by Lancaster City Council

Wednesday’s meeting of Lancaster City Council considered a number of ideas aimed at reducing use of plastic bottles, proposed by Labour councillors Andrew Kay, Ronnie Kershaw, Oscar Thynne, Claire Cozler and David Whitaker.

Plans include investigating the installation of drinking water fountains at key city centre locations in Lancaster and Morecambe, and supporting a scheme whereby local food and drink vendors offer refills or free drinking water.

Other proposals include promoting public awareness of the issue in conjunction with partner agencies involved in primary health care and local education.

The possibility of launching a promotional Lancaster refillable water container to be sold at visitor information centres could also be considered.

Use of re-usable and recyclable coffee cups could be promoted under the plans, and local cafes would be urged to invest in eco-friendly cups.

A working party of councillors, retail representatives and officers is to be set up to oversee progress.

Cllr Kay said: “Millions of plastic bottles are used by people in the UK every day and then immediately thrown away.

“Although they can be recycled, only around seven per cent of them are turned into new bottles.  Most either end up in landfill or in the ocean where they pose a real risk to marine life and they can find their way into the human food chain through the fish we eat.

“While recycling is to be encouraged, reducing use of these bottles in the first place is the most sustainable solution.

“We can’t solve this problem single-handedly as a council but we should look at how we can make a difference by raising public awareness and working with local businesses and partner organisations.”