Scottish Conservatives welcome new strategy to reduce single-use plastics in Highland

The Scottish Conservative Councillors are delighted to see that the Highland Council has announced a new strategy to reduce single use plastics across Highland - see https://www.highland.gov.uk/news/article/11431/highland_council_approves_new_strategy_to_reduce_single_use_plastics

This follows an initiative by the Scottish Conservatives in the Council Chamber back in May 2018:

The motion proposed by Councillor Isabelle MacKenzie and Councillor Andrew Jarvie, which you can watch at https://highland.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/312990/start_time/11935000, was:

“This Council recognises the great environmental damage caused by single use plastics and the work by the UK Government to ban microbeads. There are many campaigns across the world and in this country to go further but we do not need to wait in order to take responsible action ourselves.

About 99 per cent of disposable coffee cups are not recyclable and every minute over one million cups end up in landfills globally, in the UK we use seven million each and every day. Even most paper coffee cups are coated with a plastic resin for durability which cannot be separated out in a standard recycling mill and since they are therefore likely to end up at best in landfill sites, or at worst littering our streets, rivers and seas, the impact to the environment and wild animals is horrendous.

Disposable coffee cups – in numbers
The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year
Half a million cups are littered every day
Packaging producers only pay for 10 per cent of the cost of packaging disposal and recycling
Less than one percent of disposable coffee cups are recycled

It is clear to see why this cannot go on and why this council must take action itself. It is therefore agreed that we follow in the footsteps of Ullapool – a whole village where plastic straws in business premises were banned – and adopt a policy to ban the use of disposable cups, where practical, in council buildings.

Signed: Mrs I MacKenzie, Mr A Jarvie