Single-use ketchup sachets should be banned, according to a Brighton Green councillor.
Jamie Lloyd made an impassioned plea to scrap the wasteful slivers of sauce as he and his colleagues discussed ways to raise recycling rates.
Councillor Lloyd said: “Forgive me if this sounds a little ‘left field’. We are a city that does a lot of food.
“If anyone’s done a litter pick – and I know that all councillors do a lot – we’re aware that a huge amount of the waste comes from food
“Can we be a pioneer city and forever ban the single-use tomato ketchup sachet. It’s the bane of all of our lives.
“There’s enough ketchup in each sachet for less than one chip. It’s an affront – and they’re everywhere.
“Could we just do something really positive and just say we’re banning them as a city. Wouldn’t that be great!”
A senior council official Rachel Chasseaud said: “It’s something we could certainly look at. We could look at what’s legally possible to do.”
She added that a proposed pilot accreditation scheme might offer a way of encouraging smaller traders on the seafront to rethink their relish – along with their other waste.
Other ideas for cutting waste and encouraging more re-use and recycling were also being considered including star ratings for sustainable traders.
Councillor Lloyd’s plea to ban disposable sauce sachets came during a debate about a report on recycling more plastics, with Brighton and Hove City Council looking to improve its performance.
He added: “What the report shows is how much plastic is unrecyclable completely – and that’s the problem we find ourselves in and I’m sure every other local authority finds themselves in.
“We can’t ask consumers to leave plastic on the shelf when it’s available to them and they’re busy and they’re doing their weekly shop.
“We have to, as a council, lobby our government to make it unfeasible or at least impossible perhaps for companies to continue to make and deliver their products in packaging that’s effectively unrecyclable.”
Labour councillor Carmen Appich said: “Yes, of course it’s for government to bring out legislation and to perhaps ban suppliers from using certain packaging.
“Maybe in this city we could do better than that and we could maybe use our role as leaders in the city to encourage local shops to stop stocking plastics.
“So rather than expecting consumers to leave it on the shelf, maybe we should use our purchasing and procurement powers as a council to not buy things that are in plastic containers and to do some lobbying of local stores.
“I’m perfectly happy to go and knock on stores’ doors and say to them have you thought about using cardboard and getting your suppliers to switch to cardboard?
“Linda McCartney’s products have been packaged in cardboard for years and it seems to work.
“Could we do something locally? Can we consider that?”
Labour councillor Theresa Fowler said that she had been asking for more plastic recycling since before she was elected.
She said: “I was told there wasn’t a market because the plastic was of low quality. I understand now that hasn’t changed.
“If we do start collecting them without the government changing this at source, it is going to contaminate our own recycling?
“And then we find that is not being taken and ending up on a beach somewhere in countries such as Malaysia. That would be my concern.”
Green councillor Elaine Hills said that voters had told her that recycling plastics was a priority for them during her election campaign
Councillor Hills said: “Getting it right is really difficult. I know we’ve all seen programmes – there was a Channel 4 one – Dispatches – saying how people separate their rubbish in good faith in the belief that it will be recycled.
“They do it fastidiously and then up it goes in smoke so that really destroyed public confidence.
“The plastics often end up in Malaysia where there isn’t a market for it anyway.
“The government needs to step in. Food retailers need to acknowledge the difficulties in recycling the plastics that they produce.
“But they won’t do it, I don’t think, without interference from the government. They should be using more sustainable materials.
“We need a thorough feasibility study that weighs all this up – all these different considerations – and it’s very welcome so we can see how worthwhile all this might be.”
A proposed feasibility study won cross-party backing from councillors at a virtual meeting of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee yesterday (Tuesday 16 March).
The study will look at the costs and benefits of refitting the Materials Recycling Facility, in Hollingdean, so that it can recycle plastic pots, tubs and trays in addition to plastic bottles. See our recent report on this proposal and a previous report when the matter was raised.
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