SINGLE-USE PLASTICS UK
Consumption drops across public sector in Wales / Wrap to issue procurement guidance
Public bodies in Wales used about 2.2m fewer single-use plastic cups in 2018-19, a drop of nearly 19% compared to the same period in 2017-18, according to figures given to BBC Wales. The records also showed that out of the 43 bodies asked, eight said they did not buy single-use cups in 2018-19, and seven of those have also withdrawn plastic straws and cutlery. In addition, the organisations spent GBP 71,000 (EUR 78,000) less on single-use cups between 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.

Single-use cups are being used less in parts of Wales (Photo: NABU/Sandra Kühnapfel)
Campaigners welcomed the fall but said the 9.6m cups ordered was still too many. Nevertheless, hospitals, emergency services, councils and government organisations have all said they are trying to reduce the amount of waste produced by cups.

One of the bodies that has gone “plastic free” is Cardiff University (Cardiff / UK; www.cardiff.ac.uk). A university spokesperson said the phasing out of single-use plastics is one of a number of measures that it has put in place. “We are extremely pleased with the progress we’ve made over the past year; however we are not complacent and will continue to look at ways in which we can reduce our campus footprint.”

Monmouthshire council said it too had stopped using single-use plastics since 2018-2019, while others are investing in biodegradable cups or encouraging staff to have reusable cups and plastics.

“It’s great news that Wales’ public bodies are reducing the number of single-use plastic cups they’re using and tackling ‘problem plastics’ such as straws and plastic cutlery, to be eliminated by the end of 2020 under the Waste and Resources Action Programme’s (Wrap) ‘UK Plastics Pact’ – see Plasteurope.com of 07.06.2019. But these figures show there’s still work to be done,” said Bettina Gilbert, programme manager at Wrap Cymru (Cardiff; www.wrapcymru.co.uk). She added that Wrap Cymru will shortly publish a single-use plastics procurement guidance for the Welsh public sector and launch hands-on support for public sector bodies so that “sustainable procurement lies at the heart of their work.”
Wrap launches grant to increase waste recycling in England
In July 2019, Wrap UK published the “Defining what’s recyclable and best in class polymer choices for packaging” as part of plans to significantly improve the recycling rate of plastic packaging in the UK. It provides direction for setting out a “best in class” vision for packaging design, including targets for recycled content.

In addition, a grant has been unveiled to help improve recycling rates. The new recycling grant is part of the GBP 18m “Resource Action Fund”, launched by the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in May 2019. The “Resources and Waste Strategy for England” sets out to significantly increase municipal waste recycling in line with the adoption of European circular economy targets of a 55% recycling rate by 2025, 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2035. The aim of this grant is to provide capital support to increase the recycling infrastructure for non-household municipal waste.
02.09.2019 Plasteurope.com [243307-0]
Published on 02.09.2019

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