Plastic waste has become a pressing environmental challenge. As well as working to tackle climate change, in March 2019 the Council adopted the Single Use Plastic Strategy for Surrey and introduced a policy for its staff.
The Surrey-wide strategy
This is Surrey councils' shared vision for a single-use plastic free county. The Strategy gives us a road-map to eliminate avoidable single-use plastics, with five key tasks:
- Phase out the sale and provision of single-use plastic products in Surrey's councils
- Adopt procurement policies that work towards zero avoidable single-use plastics, including at events
- Help suppliers and contractors to find alternative, sustainable replacements to single-use plastics
- Support partners and local stakeholders make their own locations single-use plastic free
- Encourage people across Surrey to reduce single-use plastics
Single-use plastics in the Council
We will continue our work to reduce single-use plastics in Council-owned buildings and services. Our internal policy approach is to value pledges of future behaviour as a force for change, and to emphasise that it is everyone's responsibility to tackle the problem.
Since the start of 2019 the Council has:
- Stopped routinely providing single-use plastic cups at Council offices
- Stopped buying plastic-based refreshment supplies
- Introduced segregated office recycling bins to improve recycling rates
- Worked to end the sale and provision of single-use plastics across our estate (for example in vending machines)
- Developed procurement policies requiring suppliers to reduce or remove single-use plastics wherever possible
- Supported staff initiatives to recycle single-use plastics for community benefit
What can you do to help?
- Take a reusable cup to the coffee shop. You coffee may even be cheaper that way!
- Carry a refillable water bottle instead of using disposable bottles and cups
- Look out for the Refill logo or get the Refill app to find your nearest free local water refill station
- Carry reusable shopping bags to avoid buying plastic ones
- Use reusable tubs for snacks and lunches
- Reject plastic straws and cutlery
- Avoid using wet wipes
- Use alternatives to plastic film (for example, beeswax wraps can be used for up to a year)
And if you do have to use a plastic product, check if you can recycle it with the Council.
Learning more about reducing single-use plastics
There's lots more information here.