Leicester Greens Joined by Prime Minister in Plastic Bag AttackLeicester Greens have welcomed the Prime Minister's conversion to the policy of phasing out single-use plastic bags. See BBC News coverage
Cllr Matt Follett said: "I am delighted to find that the Prime Minister has moved towards the Green Party's position on this issue. The Green Group on Leicester Council had already tabled a motion, to be voted on this Thursday, asking the Council to strive towards a reduction in plastic bag use, and to lobby the Government to do so too."
Cllr Phil Gordon said:
"Of course the Government should go much further, but I do welcome the intention to tackle the wasteful use of plastic bags by supermarkets and other retailers."
Cllr Follett added: "I hope and expect that other parties will back this motion, as it gives Leicester the opportunity to send out a message that the Council is prepared to encourage change on these issues. We have welcomed the Council's recent climate change strategy. These things can always go further, of course, but at this stage we need to be positive about trying to make Leicester once again a leading city on the environment."
Cllr Phil Gordon said:
"What really pleases me is that this is another example of us working towards cross party support , and not engaging in the usual political bun fights."
Motion submitted by Green Group
REDUCING PLASTIC BAG USE
This Council seeks to support and encourage retailers, businesses and commercial manufacturers to reduce excessive packaging, in particular the widespread use of plastic bags.
This Council notes that:
1. The Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2003 aim to minimise the amount of waste packaging generated at source and ensure that packaging can be reused, recovered or recycled, and that the Landfill Directive requires the UK to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by more than half by 2013, and to around a quarter of the current level by 2020.
2. Annually an estimated total of around 17Â½ billion plastic bags are handed out by supermarkets in the UK. This is enough plastic to cover the combined metropolitan areas of London, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and West Yorkshire.
3. A plastic bag can take between 400 to 1,000 years to break down in the environment, and in the UK alone at least 200 million plastic bags end up as waste on our beaches, streets and parks ever year.
4. The reduction of the amount of plastic bags produced by supermarkets and convenience stores would therefore make a significant contribution to Leicester's ability to meet its waste reduction targets, and would protect our environment.
5. London councils have found overwhelming public support and a survey by the Market research Bureau showed that If supermarkets stopped supplying free plastic bags, 14% of respondents said they would be prepared to pay £2 or more for a re-usable woven shopping bag that would last for up to a year, 64% said they would pay between 50p and £1, while 11% thought that 20p was a fair price.
This Council therefore resolves to:
1. Require the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs requesting that the Government commissions a report on the options for reductions in plastic bag use, to include an assessment of the effects of a 20p per bag levy.
2. In Leicester seek to support and encourage retailers, businesses and commercial manufacturers to eliminate excessive packaging, in particular the widespread use of plastic bags, replacing them where necessary with reusable bags made from natural fibres or strong paper, and with cardboard boxes or cartons.