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Why we must end our dependence on plastic

On 25th June I will be putting forward a motion to Reading Borough Council to reduce the usage of single use plastic.

As outlined in the motion, unsustainable attitudes towards plastic are causing irreversible damage to the environment, and it is vital that our consumption of single use plastic is eliminated. Based on current practices it has been predicted that the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050, and as the majority of plastic is non-biodegradable, it will continue to pollute our oceans for thousands of years. The production of plastics is also a major contributor to climate change.

Eliminating single use plastic is critical to reducing overall plastic consumption and waste, and a key step in achieving wider environmental targets on climate change. With plastic so pervasive in our society, it can often be challenging as a consumer to choose a more sustainable alternative. This can be particularly difficult for some groups such as older and disabled people. That’s why it’s essential that changes must be made not only by individuals, but also by businesses, organisations and local and national government to provide sustainable alternatives and change how we use and manage plastic.

I am advocating this motion as it promotes less reliance on single-use plastics. Locally, large events like Reading Festival result in staggering amounts of plastic waste, and this motion welcomes the announcement that Reading Festival will be free of single-use plastics by 2021. However, I want to note that some single use plastic products are essential for providing care and support or to enable groups such as older people, people with disabilities and autistic people to live their daily lives.

As a council, this motion would ensure we phase out the use of single-use plastics in all services commissioned by the council, as well as working with Reading’s businesses, community groups and residents to share advice, ideas and best practice to help them transition from single-use plastic products to sustainable alternatives.

Overall, there is a desperate need for plastic management in order to protect our environment and this motion recognises that, thus making it major contribution to the local fight to reduce our impact on the environment.

  1. Tony says:

    I love it Rachel, well done. I think that we should do this regardless of any climate change arguments, we should be doing it anyway.

    There is a big emphasis on recycling and at a recent sustainability exhibition in Reading Museum examples of alternatives were showcased, reusable bottles and cups, we were encouraged to eliminate single use items. The key is not using them in the first place and not wasting food, energy or water.

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