As part of SERA's push on plastics we want to encourage the Labour Party to be more ambitious. With plastic at the top of the political and environmental agenda and the Conservative government taking little if any concrete action, we want Labour to think about plastic pollution within the Party which we hope will enable conversations and a cultural shift paving the way for green world leading progressive policy.
Below is a motion to pass at your next CLP meeting and scroll down further for a draft motion for Labour Councillors and councils.
Vote on this motion at your next CLP meeting
This motion has already been passed by over 30 CLPs across the country - please take the motion to your CLP, vote on it and let SERA know when it has been passed by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tweeting SERA at @serauk with the hashtag #PlasticFree.
The Labour Party’s use of plastic
This branch/GC notes:
That the use of plastic when not properly recycled has a detrimental impact on our environment.
That the Labour Party is currently using a large unquantifiable volume of plastic and currently does not have a plan or strategy in place to phase out its use.
This branch/GC believes:
That the Labour Party should be leading the way and setting an example as an organisation that does not use plastic where ever possible.
This branch/GC resolves:
That the CLP Chair and Secretary are to write to the Labour Party General Secretary and Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to request that an audit take place on how much plastic the national party has used in the last 12 months and to come up with a plan of action to phase out its use with the findings to be presented to conference.
Draft Motion for councils to tackle single-use plastics
This Council notes:
- Most plastic does not decompose; a plastic bottle can last for 450 years in the marine environment. Plastic slowly fragments into smaller pieces but never truly go away- these are known as microplastics.
- Everyday approximately 8 million pieces of plastic are entering the oceans. Estimates suggest that by 2050 there could be more plastic in our oceans than fish.
- Approximately 5,000 items of marine plastic pollution have been found per mile of beach in the UK. Plastic bottles and packaging make up a third of plastic pollution entering the sea. Tyre dust, maritime waste, nurdles and synthetic microfibers make up another 47% of the problem.
- Plastic pollution causes harm to wildlife such as fish, seabirds and dolphins. Recent research has found marine plastic in 100% of marine turtles, 59% of whales, 36% of seals and 40% of seabirds. 100,000 marine mammals and turtles are killed by plastic pollution every year. 1 in 3 fish caught for human consumption contains plastic.
- UK rivers have been found to be heavily polluted with microplastics. Recent studies have also found microplastics in both tap and bottled water.
- The plastics crisis requires action by national and local governments to reduce plastic pollution by increasing recycling rates and eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic (SUP).
What this Council believes:
- We need to move away from a linear plastics economy, where we take, make and dispose of plastic, towards a circular system where we capture the value of plastics material - keeping plastic in the economy and out of the oceans.
- National government are not taking decisive action to deal with the problem of plastic pollution.
This Council therefore commits to:
- To become a full signatory of the ‘Plastic Free Pledge’ by eliminating all single-use plastics within Council managed buildings and facilities by 2020, and seek to encourage the elimination of single-use plastics within the supply chain by 2025.
- Incorporate the reduction of single-use plastic into the Council’s waste strategy.
- Consider the installation of water fountains across the authority
- Work with and encourage the public, local businesses, partners and institutions to go ‘plastic free’. Investigate incentivising traders on Council land to sell re-usable or non-plastic biogradable containers and invite customers to bring their own, with the aim of phasing out single-use plastics, including investigating the possibility of requiring food and drink vendors to avoid SUPs as a condition of their event permission.
- Encourage, enable and aid all employees and Councillors to engage with the annual Plastic Free July challenge.
- Work with existing local and national groups and experts to implement these changes and consider joining Keep Britain Tidy if not already a member.
- Ask the cabinet member responsible for the environment to write to the Conservative Minister for Environment, requesting that the reduction of single-use plastic form part of the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy.