Worthing Borough Council commits to plastic-free vision

Worthing Borough Council leader Dan Humphreys at the launch of Refill Worthing

Worthing Borough Council has set out a bold new aspiration to become ‘Plastic Free’, following a unanimous vote by councillors.

At a Full Council meeting this week (Tuesday October 30), elected representatives agreed to back a motion which would see the authority strive towards ending single-use plastic.

The motion, proposed by Councillor Nicola Waight and seconded by Councillor Bob Smytherman, recognised the important work the Council is already doing to reduce single-use plastic waste which includes the newly launched Worthing Refill Scheme and regular beach cleans.

However, the motion called on the Council to go further and faster in aspiring to become a Plastic Free Council.

The statement of intent comes two days after the publication of an Environment Framework which commits the Council to ambitious recycling targets amongst a raft of important eco measures.

Councillor Dan Humphreys, Leader of Worthing Borough Council, said:

“In recent years we’ve seen the huge impact which single-use plastics can have upon our environment. At Worthing Borough Council we’re rightly proud of our track record of recycling a wide range of plastics, our programme of beach clean ups and our partnership working in the community through initiatives like Worthing Refill. This motion calls upon the Council to go further, whilst recognising the excellent work which is already in progress to protect our environment.”

Councillor Nicola Waight, who proposed the motion, said:

“Documentaries such as David Attenborough’s Blue Planet have highlighted the damage that is being done to our oceans. These have given impetus to efforts to reduce the prevalence of plastic use where sustainable alternatives are available. I’m pleased that all Worthing Councillors have thrown their support behind this bold declaration.”

Single-use plastics, often also referred to as disposable plastics, are commonly used for plastic packaging and include items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled.  The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that around 8 million tonnes of bottles and plastic waste enter the oceans each year, killing marine life and entering the food chain.

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