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Town Council Addresses Environmental Issues

Hunstanton Town Council aims to lead the change on reducing single-use plastics by going plastic free in 2020.

Single-use plastics are to be phased out from all the council's premises from the 1st February.

The UK Government has already confirmed a ban on plastic straws, drinks stirrers, and plastic stemmed cotton buds that will be coming into effect in England from April 2020. A spokesperson for HTC stated, 'We are putting our plan into action early to give businesses an opportunity to find alternatives before the holiday season. We are also taking our policy further than the Government and aim to ban all single-use plastics on our premises including disposable water bottles. A full list of banned items can be found on the HTC website and details will be sent to all venue hirers.'

HTC declared a climate emergency in 2019 and has since implement several new policies to address climate change and single-use plastic pollution. The Environment Panel, formed in the later half of 2019, has already tackled cigarette litter by installing a Ballot Voting Bin, sponsoring Hunstanton's first highly successful Vegan Fair and a range of environmentally friendly products are now on sale at the Tourist Information Centre. New recycling bins have been installed on all council premises and they are working closely with other organisations within the town to develop new strategies.

Cllr. Amanda Knight, chair of the Environment Panel said, "The council already works in partnership with projects such as Refill to help reduce single-use plastic within the town. As a council we have a commitment to the environment and our policies need to reflect this."

It has been acknowledged that some single-use plastics can be made available when it is essential for medical reasons or disability.

Hunstanton Town Council is currently undertaking a audit of single plastics and paper. Current items being phased out include the following. Please check back as more items are being added weekly.

Water

No water is to be sold or supplied in single-use plastic bottles. Hirers and their clients/customers may access free tap water at the venue's kitchens to refill reusable water bottles. The kitchens are stocked with glasses/cups which maybe used and some jugs are available. (We ask that venue hirers encourage clients/customers not to bring in water in single-use bottles for their own personal use). Water may be sold/supplied in cartons and cans. Water in cans is available from Hunstanton Tourist Information Centre.

Straws

Hirers are not to sell, supply or hand out single-use plastic straws on any council premises. Alternative solutions include stainless steel straws, paper straws and bamboo straws. Those with medical needs or disabilities and who may rely on plastic straws are exempt.

Coffee Cups

Hirers are not to sell, supply or hand out single-use plastic/polystyrene coffee cups on any council premises. Hirers are asked to encourage customers/clients to bring their own personal refillable coffee containers. HTC venues are well stocked with cups and mugs which hirers may make use of.

Plastic plates and cutlery/stirrers

Hirers are not to sell, supply or hand out single-use plastic/polystyrene plates or cutlery/stirrers at any council premises. HTC venues are well stocked with plates and cutlery which hirers are welcome to use.

Bags

Hirers are not to sell or supply single-use plastic bags; this includes biodegradable bags. Alternatives include 'bags for life' or paper bags. Hirers who are sub-letting the venue ie. for Craft Fairs/Gift Fairs are to advise sub-hirers accordingly.

Plastic Sachets

Plastic sachets containing single servings of sugar, ketchup, mayo etc. are not to be brought onto any council premises. Please bring full size bottles.

Balloons

The sale or supply of balloons are not to be brought onto any council premises for any reason whatsoever including children's parties. The release of balloons and lanterns are banned on all HTC and KLBC land.

Defra

A Government ban is proposed from April 2020 on plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers with further bans coming into effect in June 2021.

Posted: Fri, 03 Jan 2020 14:20 by Jan Roomes

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