Having voted unanimously in July to recognise and act on the climate catastrophe, the Lib Dem-run council is leading the charge to drastically reduce the amount of single-use plastic across the district.
The council committed earlier this year to banning single-use plastics at its offices, facilities and events, and this administration has wasted no time following through. Plastic cups are now banished from the council offices, and Styrofoam has been largely phased out at the market, with only one trader now using it until their current stock runs out.
In addition, traders know they must use up any remaining supplies of single-use plastics by the end of 2019, after which their use in the market will be outlawed.
Harsh? So is the climate emergency.
Single-use plastics will also be banned from this year’s Street Feastival on Sunday 29 September, a celebration of the district’s food and drink industry.
And Veolia, the council’s food waste contractor, is meeting with local food businesses to discuss options for recyclable food containers at takeaways.
These actions received endorsement at a meeting of the Community, Environment and Sport Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 5 September.
Chris White, council leader and portfolio holder for climate and environment, pictured left, is considering further recommendations, including an information stall to advise both market traders and the public on alternatives to single-use plastic, and working with schools and town and parish councils to reduce single-use plastic.
"When we led this council in recognising the climate emergency, we meant it," says Chris.
"Any council must practice what it preaches, and these are swift changes that are straightforward to achieve.
“There is plenty more to come, and we look forward to the support of residents, businesses and opposition parties as we do everything possible to deliver on our environmental commitments across this district.”