Reducing single use plastics

Free Tap Water / BYO cup scheme logos

Following
the unanimous motion on reducing single use plastics in the city passed by the
council in December 2017 this is a welcome tangible step forward, with a clear
public health as well as environmental benefit. Some of the terminology in the report
is inaccurate in recycle bottles and cups when we mean reused or refillable
drinks receptacles but the overall idea of joining a countywide initiative that
has already been launched elsewhere in places like Huddersfield, Selby and
Sheffield makes sense for a tourist city like York.

However it
is particularly disappointing that despite several meetings with myself, John
McGall and Cllr Waller/ Cllr Orrell this paper fails to acknowledge (even under
‘consultation’) our own home grown York based iamreusable initiative which if
not properly addressed could be undermined by this proposal. John will say more
about what he has done, but my suggestion is that the proposal should be
amended to include promotion of both initiatives within York perhaps encouraging
iamreusable to continue recruiting independent sector outlets to provide refill
stations and sell refillable bottles and cups. Yorkshire on Tap could in turn
help to promote iamreusable cups to all businesses signing up to their scheme.
At this stage the Executive Member just needs to agree to further negotiations
with both parties and to include more efforts to ensure widespread availability
of refillable bottles and cups for sale in the city.

It is also
disappointing to note the absence of any One Planet York impact statement or
Better Decision Making Tool!! As a minimum, recommendations should include
updating the One Planet York website and CYC A-Z of recycling and reuse pages
to make reference to cutting bottle and cup waste through refill and reuse initiatives
such as this. There should also be some clear performance indicators to be
reported annually, not just of the number of establishments offering the
service or discount for refill drinks but also on the other side the weekly
volumes of waste collected within store (in places such as Pret a mange’ where
disposable cups are used in store) and from surrounding bins eg within
Parliament St, Kings Sq, the Market etc

Finally I
would welcome the opportunity for further discussion of options for rolling out
a ‘York cup’ as agreed within the council motion so that we can genuinely
promote York as a plastic free city, working towards zero waste.

Andy
D’Agorne

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