The Conservatives are calling on Brighton and Hove City Council to ban single-use plastic products in a motion which is due to be debated on Thursday (2 November).
The motion, put forward by Councillor Steve Bell and seconded by Councillor Robert Nemeth, aims to “ban the purchase of ‘single-use plastics’ in all BHCC buildings and agencies”.
It also asks the council “to request and encourage all businesses with which we engage, via our procurement network, to support the banning of these consumables in their place of work”.
The two councillors want the council to reach a decision after weighing up the financial implications, the economic and the environmental impact.
The Greens are pushing for a similar move.
Councillor Bell said: “We produce roughly 300 million tons of plastic each year and half of it is disposable.”
He said that the nature of plastic made it hard to recycle. It wasn’t biodegradable but he added: “It will break down into tiny particles.
“In the process of breaking down, it releases toxic chemicals which make their way into our food and water supply.
“These toxic chemicals can be found in our bloodstream – and the latest research has linked them to cancer, infertility, birth defects, impaired immunity and many other ailments.
“Single-use plastics are a major source of marine litter. Items such as bags, bottles and straws present a physical danger for marine life.
“In landfill or in our oceans, these everyday objects result in a vast loss of energetic and material value to the economy.
“The transition to a circular economy offers opportunities to close the loop and prevent marine litter and its ecological, social and economic impacts.”
He noted that it also cost the council money, clearing up disposable plastics that had been carelessly discarded.
The Greens are asking for a report on the options for bringing an end to the use of unnecessary single-use plastics in Brighton and Hove.
They want the council to sign a “Plastic Free Pledge” and work with suppliers and local businesses to stop using single-use plastics and find sustainable alternatives.
Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, supported by Councillor Leo Littman, is calling for the council to look into “the possibility of requiring food and drink vendors to avoid single-use plastics as a condition of their event permission”.
This would affect the type of bottles, cups and straws used at events, such as Pride, the Brighton Marathon and concerts and conferences at the Brighton Centre.
The Greens praised local business such as Brighton Catering Supplies, Silo, HisBe supermarket and the Tempest Inn for already committed to using alternatives to disposable plastic.
They said: “Fifty-six venues in Brighton and Hove have pledged to limit or remove many single-use plastics such as plastic straws.”
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