Stepping up the pressure in battle to reduce plastic use

From left, Cllr Susan Murray, Sue Fleming and Juliet Oxborrow of Plastic Free Lewes and Cllr Chelsea Renton
From left, Cllr Susan Murray, Sue Fleming and Juliet Oxborrow of Plastic Free Lewes and Cllr Chelsea Renton

Lewes Town Council has agreed to become a strategic partner to Plastic Free Lewes, the local community group, to help tackle unnecessary plastic consumption across the town, particuarly single-use plastic.

The council has already voted to phase out single-use plastic from its premises, such as disposable cups, water bottles and food containers, following a motion proposed by Councillors Chelsea Renton and Susan Murray.

A leaflet, co-written with Plastic Free Lewes, will soon start to be sent out to all organisations and groups seeking to hire town council venues, encouraging them not to provide single-use plastic at events.

Plastic Free Lewes was set up at the end of last year in response to local concern about the growing environmental problem of plastic pollution.

The world produces an annual 300 million tonnes of plastic, with eight million tonnes entering the oceans every year.

By the year 2050, it is estimated the oceans could contain more plastic by weight than fish.

Independent Green Party Councillor Murray said: “Tackling global plastic pollution will require legislation at a national and international level.

“But it’s also essential that local councils take action to raise awareness and help local people and businesses reduce the amount of plastic in their daily lives and activities.”

Juliet Oxborrow, of Plastic Free Lewes, said: “We’re delighted Lewes Town Council has voted to become a Plastic Free Lewes partner.

“This sends out a clear signal that Lewes is really serious about addressing plastic pollution and cutting down on unnecessary single-use plastic in particular.

“We look forward to working with councillors on future initiatives to cut plastic use across Lewes.”

Other strategic partners to Plastic Free Lewes are Transition Town Lewes, Depot Cinema, Lewes District Green Party, Lewes Liberal Democrats, Lewes Railway Land Wildlife Trust, Green Cuisine Trust, the Friday Food Market and Making Lewes. More information can be found on the Plastic Free Lewes Facebook group page.

Lewes Town Council has said it will be championing alternatives to plastic, such as reusable water bottles, and will join and help promote the national ‘Refill’ scheme for public access to drinking water.