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Avoiding single use plastics

Plastic bottle in stop symbol

Single use plastics are plastic items which are only used only once before they are thrown away or recycled.

Single use items include:

  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic top disposable cups
  • Straws
  • Coffee stirrers
  • Water and soda bottles
  • Food packaging etc

How we avoid single use plastic

In April 2018, we passed a Notice of Motion aimed at the reduction of single use plastics.

We will ensure that, wherever possible, single use plastics will not be used on our premises or functions.

This means single-use plastics will only be allowed if they are absolutely necessary and made from recyclable materials.

We also offer our full support of The UK Plastics Pact - a fresh, collaborative initiative that brings together businesses, governments and non-government organisations to tackle plastic waste.

Under the UK Plastics Pact, every major supermarket in Britain has now pledged to stop unnecessary single-use plastics by 2025, under the UK Plastics Pact.

For more information on the Notice of Motion see Committee meetings.

How you can avoid single use plastic

Below are ideas on how to avoid single use plastic in your day to day life:

  • Bring your own shopping bags
  • Buy reusable mesh bags for fruit/veg/herbs so you can buy these products loose
  • Buy reusable silicone sandwich bags instead of throw-away bags
  • Carry reusable water bottle
  • Download the Refill App
  • Bring a reusable cup to coffee shops (they may even offer a discount)
  • Pack your lunch in reusable containers
  • Say no to disposable straws and cutlery (even paper straws and compostable cutlery have a negative effect on the environment)
  • Buy steel or glass straws
  • Join Surfers against Sewage - it isn't just about beach clear-ups! This charity are working hard with communities to discourage the use of single-use plastic.
  • Join the refill-ution! Many cleaning and beauty products can now be refilled at local stores. Google your products to see if you can refill them locally.

Talk to friends, family and colleagues about the changes you are making - this can be the best influence of all!

Recycling hard-to-recycle plastics

There are many plastic products we cannot collect. It is much better for the environment to reduce the amount of plastic and packaging we use in the first place.

However, if you do have hard to recycle plastics, you can dispose of them environmentally through the following ways:


TerraCycle offers free recycling programmes for hard-to-recycle waste. They have drop off points all over the country or you can send your items into them.


Ecobricks are an alternate method of disposal of hard-to-recycle plastics. An eco-brick is a building block made from unrecyclable plastics. The bottle is made by filling a plastic bottle with clean, dry plastic until it is packed tightly and can then be used as a building block. The bottles are used in all sorts of building projects around the world and are a great way to dispose of plastic waste that could end up in landfill or potentially in the ocean.

Encourage local businesses to avoid single use plastics

We encourage you to email local businesses to ask them to cut plastic waste in their own branded products to save oceans form marine pollution and help reduce street litter.

Send an email of concern

For a draft email of concern see  Example email draft expressing concerns around plastic waste (PDF) [9KB] .

Offer practical advice and ideas

Walk around shops and look for practical ideas to cut out excess packaging and plastic, then email customer services with your suggestions. When you notice changes that have been made, email back to say thank you!

We have already written to our local supermarkets, asking them to cut plastic waste and production. You can do the same - the more support behind this the greater the impact!

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