Council’s drive to reduce one-use plastics welcomed

Cllr Watt and Cllr Leslie, who had their original plastic reduction motion rejected,have welcomed the progress now being made.
Cllr Watt and Cllr Leslie, who had their original plastic reduction motion rejected,have welcomed the progress now being made.

Fife Council has reiterated its commitment to eliminating its need for one-use plastics, but has warned more work needs to be done before reductions can be made.

Officers tasked with creating a plan to make reductions across council departments and services say the drive to reduce usage has been welcomed, but admit the sheer scale and diversity of plastic currently in use – from cups to bin bags, swabs, cable ties and disposable gloves – has been underestimated.

“There are items in general use across council departments such as plastic cups, lids, bottle sand items sold from vending machines that are our primary focus, but staff have also flagged up numerous other items,” said Stephanie Newstead, environmental strategy officer.

“The challenges we have is to find suitable alternatives to much of what we wish to eliminate, and the financial recourse implications of working withing budgets.”

Supporting the work undertaken so far, Cllr Ross Vettraino, convener of the environment, protective Services and Community safety committee said: “This is a process of education to bring about a change in habits and the accepted norms, that is not something that can be achieved overnight.”

Meanwhile Cllr Darren Watt, who along with Kirkcaldy Cllr Kathleen Leslie, brought a motion to last month’s full council calling for a reduction said the commitment was “very encouraging”.