CHESHIRE East has stepped up its move to ban single use plastics at the council.

The council says it has been actively trying to reduce the use of single use plastics for a number of years.

But the matter was brought up at the full council meeting last December when High Legh councillor Kate Parkinson criticised the authority for using single use plastic bottles at some meetings saying: “I would have thought that, at the council, one of the first changes that would be made in our efforts to protect the environment would be to stop this.”

Knutsford Guardian:

Cllr Kate Parkinson

Water is now, once again, provided at council meetings in glass bottles.

But members of the environment and communities committee have since asked for an update on the council’s move to ban single use plastics.

A report to Thursday’s meeting lists a number of areas where this has been reduced or stopped.

This includes leisure centres where, the council says, the majority of single use plastic materials have now been removed.

“The items that remain serve important purposes such as items in the first aid kits, chemical bottles and overshoes for going onto poolside,” states the report.

It says that, prior to 2018, some single use items were available as part of the catering service and at the drinks stations, but most of these have now been removed.

The school catering service does not accept unnecessary packaging for fruit and vegetables and has significantly reduced use of items such as yoghurt pots.

Frozen yoghurt ice cream tubs have now changed from a plastic container to a paper based one that is fully compostable.

And the council is also providing recycling bins at some parks as a means of capturing single use plastics.

“The trial of the ‘on the go’ recycling bins in West Park in Macclesfield and Queens Park in Crewe has provided valuable information on the best locations and processes involved,” states the report.

Cheshire East has also stepped up the drive to remove single use plastics from its supply chain and highlights this to contract bidders, stating it will impact on their scoring.

The report is due to be discussed at Thursday’s (August 4) meeting of the environment and communities committee which takes place at 10.30am at the council’s Westfields HQ in Sandbach.