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Agenda item

To consider motions under Standing Order 12.

Motion One

 

“That this Council will become a “single-use plastic free” Council by phasing out the use of “single use plastic” (SUP) products such as bottles, cups, cutlery and drinking straws in council activities, where it is reasonable to do so, by April 2018 and to encourage our facilities’ users, local businesses and other local public agencies to do the same, by championing alternatives, such as reusable water bottles”

 

Proposer: Councillor Adams

Seconder: Councillor Barnfather

 

Motion Two

 

 

“In future, all meetings of the Council to which the public are entitled to attend should be recorded and provision be made for such in the Council 2018/19 budget.”

 

Proposer: Councillor Powell

Seconder: Councillor Adams

 

Motion Three

 

Preamble

 

Since the beginning of the 20th century plastic has become the most commonly used material and modern life is unthinkable without it. Unfortunately, what makes it so useful, such as its durability, light weight and low cost, also makes it problematic when it comes to its end of life phase.

 

The world’s annual consumption of plastic materials has increased from around 5 million tonnes in the 1950s to nearly 300 million tonnes today.1 The amount of plastic waste generated annually in the UK is estimated to be nearly 5 million tonnes.2 Most families throw away about 40kg of plastic per year, which could otherwise be recycled.

 

According to recent scientific research, eight million metric tons of plastic waste makes its way into the world’s oceans each year.3 The same report predicts that the amount of plastic debris is likely to increase greatly over the next decade unless nations take strong measures to dispose of their litter responsibly.

 

The consequences of plastic pollution on the marine environment are severe. Once in the ocean, plastic waste injures and kills fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Marine plastic pollution has impacted at least 267 species worldwide, including 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species and 43% of all marine mammal species. The impacts include fatalities as a result of ingestion, starvation, suffocation, infection, drowning, and entanglement.4

Moreover, plastic is not inert and chemical additives, some of them endocrine disruptors, can migrate into body tissue and enter the food chain ultimately ending up on our plates.

The massive pollution of world oceans with plastic debris has therefore emerged as a global challenge that requires both global and local response. Gedling should be a showcase for how to build a coherent strategy to optimize plastic waste policy.

Residents, independent groups and organisations in the Borough are already taking direct action to prevent existing plastic litter and use of single-use plastics. However, the amount of litter is increasing and clear action is needed to stop this pollution at source.

Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items are things like plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles and most food packaging. 

All Members of Council will no doubt be aware of the fantastic work that is being done by Amy and Ella Meek of Arnold, to raise awareness about the damaging global impact of plastics in our oceans. Amy, 14 and Ella, 12 founded the campaign Kids Against Plastics two years ago to promote a better understanding about the environmental effects of single-use plastics. As well as personally getting their hands dirty picking up litter from the country’s coastlines, Amy and Ella have been encouraging cafes to become ‘plastics clever’, including in their home town of Arnold.

Gedling Borough Council therefore:

 

·                     Thanks and congratulates Amy and Ella Meek for their amazing efforts to date to reduce single-use plastics.

 

·                     Supports Amy and Ella in raising awareness of this important environmental issue across the borough and in encouraging local businesses and other partners to pledge their commitment to reduce single-use plastics

 

This Council will:

1.            Declare Gedling Borough Council will become ‘single-use plastic free’ - taking immediate steps to reduce single-use plastics within all of the Council’s facilities and develop a robust strategy that encourages and enables the Borough’s institutions, businesses and residents to adopt similar measures.

This will require changes in policy, strong leadership and championing from Gedling Borough Council around reducing our reliance on and use of single-use plastics (SUPs). Specifically:  

·           Phase out, with a view to ending all sales of SUP bottles in Gedling Borough Council buildings and phase out their use at all events hosted in Gedling Borough Council owned buildings, both public and private.

·           Phase out the use of other SUP products in Gedling Borough Council owned buildings starting with (but not limited to) ‘disposable’ cups, cutlery and drinking straws.

·           Work with the Council’s Community Relations team and create policy in which single-use ‘disposable’ plastic cups are replaced at all borough events with reusable or deposit scheme cups. This will ultimately be a condition for obtaining the Council’s permission, as landowner, to hold large scale events on its land.

·           Work with tenants in Gedling Borough Council offices and commercial properties to phase out SUP bottles, cups, cutlery and straws.

·           Launch an annual plastic free challenge month in July 2018 and encourage, enable and aid all Councillors, employees, residents, community groups, organisations and businesses in the borough to engage with it.

2.            Write to the Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council requesting the County Council’s support and positive action on the issues raised in this motion.

3.            Request the Chief Executive to investigate and report back to Members on the impact on Gedling Borough Council of the Chinese Government’s ban on imports of millions of tonnes of plastic waste, particularly given the fact British companies have shipped more than 1.5m tonnes of plastic waste to China since 2012.5

Proposer: Councillor Payne
Seconder: Councillor Hollingsworth

Sources

1.     Plastic Pollution, Introduction, Claire Le Guern Lytle
(http://plastic-pollution.org/)

2.     The Waste & Resources Action Programme. (www.wrap.org.uk)

3.     J. Jambeck, “Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean.” (2015)
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/347/6223/768]

4.     D.W. Laist, “Impacts of marine debris: entanglement of marine life in marine debris including a comprehensive list of species with entanglement and ingestion records,” in Coe, J.M. Rogers, D.B. (eds), Marine Debris: Sources, Impacts, and Solutions: Springer-Verlag, New York, (1997) 99-139.

5.     Chinese ban on plastic waste imports could see UK pollution rise,
[
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/07/chinese-ban-on-plastic-waste-imports-could-see-uk-pollution-rise] The Guardian (7 December 2017)”

 

Minutes:

Upon a notice of motion received in the name of Councillor Powell, a proposition was moved by Councillor Powell, seconded by Councillor Adams, in the following terms:

 

“In future, all meetings of the Council to which the public are entitled to attend should be recorded and provision be made for such in the Council 2018/19 budget”

 

An amendment to the motion was moved by Councillor Payne and seconded by Councillor David Ellis in the following terms:

 

“That Council:

 

1.    Notes that Cabinet has specifically asked the Scrutiny Working Group set up to explore options for promoting the openness of the Council to consider recording of meetings and as part of that work to consult all Members;

2.    Requests that the Scrutiny Working Group specifically considers whether, in future, all meetings of the Council to which the public are entitled to attend should be recorded and provision be made for such in the Council 2018/19 budget; and

3.    Urges all Members of council to engage in this cross-party process in order that their views can be taken into account when Scrutiny Committee makes a recommendation to Cabinet on this issue. “

 

Councillor Barnfather moved a motion to adjourn the meeting for a period of five minutes to allow consideration of the proposed amendment, which was seconded by Councillor Payne and upon being put to the vote was carried.

 

The meeting adjourned at 7.35pm and recommenced at 7.40pm.

 

The Mayor put the amended motion to the vote and it was carried and was

 

RESOLVED that Council:

 

1.    Notes that Cabinet has specifically asked the Scrutiny Working Group set up to explore options for promoting the openness of the Council to consider recording of meetings and as part of that work to consult all Members;

2.    Requests that the Scrutiny Working Group specifically considers whether, in future, all meetings of the Council to which the public are entitled to attend should be recorded and provision be made for such in the Council 2018/19 budget; and

3.    Urges all Members of council to engage in this cross-party process in order that their views can be taken into account when Scrutiny Committee makes a recommendation to Cabinet on this issue. “

 

 

 


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