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Mayor Dave Writes: Making Bedford Borough Council Single-Use Plastics Free

February 12, 2019 9:33 AM

Mayor Dave Hodgson with a Reusable CupIn a recent column for the Bedford Borough Bulletin, Mayor Dave Hodgson wrote about the decision to commit Bedford Borough Council to becoming council's commitment to becoming a single-use plastics free council by the end of 2020.

The commitment is the latest in a long line of bold action in support of our local and wider environment, with Mayor Dave's column stressing the need to replicate success in other areas to achieve the important commitment to cut out single use plastics.

Here's the text of the piece:

We quite frankly have a plastic waste crisis here and across the planet. Such a crisis calls for decisive, effective action, not just at government level but all levels, including local organisations and indeed all of us as individuals.

That's why we've committed to make Bedford Borough Council a single-use plastics free council by the end of 2020. This is a challenging target, but the situation presents a major challenge for us all, and demands that we tackle it.

I've been sickened by the images we've all seen of the harm done to wildlife and our environment by plastics waste. We all know of the damage it does, yet there is still an obscene amount of unnecessary plastic waste across our society. In the UK, the amount of plastic waste generated annually is estimated to be nearly 5 million tonnes.

Plastic waste can take hundreds of years to break down, and plastic bags and other plastic rubbish kills thousands of animals every year. In the face of such grim facts, it's easy to be become simply disheartened. But there is a lot that individuals and organisations can do to make a positive difference.

As a Council we've already slashed our carbon footprint by over 50%. Meanwhile, we've transformed the Council's performance on environmental matters such as energy conservation, waste reduction and tackling littering. Littering enforcement did not previously take place locally, yet it is crucial to minimising the blight of plastic and other waste on our local environment.

We want to match our success across these other areas to ensure the Council's own house is in order over unnecessary plastic waste. Part of our commitment will also involve working with schools, businesses and others to promote the importance of minimising plastic waste. It might be a cliche, but we only have one planet. We need to start acting like it.

Mayor Dave Hodgson