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Harlow Council eliminating single-use plastic across its public buildings

23 Jan Harlow Council eliminating single-use plastic across its public buildings

Harlow Council is doing its bit for the environment by reducing the use of single-use plastic across its public buildings.

As part of the climate emergency declared last year, the council committed to eliminating the use of single-use plastics across all its public council buildings by January 2020, ahead of the national implementation date of April 2020.

This was achieved in October 2019 when the council successfully removed all plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic stemmed cotton buds from all public council buildings. Where items are required they have been replaced with environmentally friendly alternatives.

In 2018, 40,000 plastic cups were used across council buildings, however since last year all non-biodegradable plastic cups have been removed and biodegradable replacement cups have been provided where needed.

Councillor Mark Ingall, Leader of the Council, said: “We are very pleased with the progress we have been making since declaring a climate emergency last year. It’s important our residents know the council are doing their bit as well to make positive changes for our environment.

“The Plant a Tree for Harlow scheme has seen over 2,700 new trees planted so far by residents and now we are supporting the Essex Plastic Pledge campaign we hope to continue to inspire and encourage residents to do their bit too.

“This is just the start of a number of changes we have committed to, to prevent climate change and improve the quality of life in our town. However, we all have a responsibility for the planet we live on and by making small changes at work, school and home we can collectively make a big difference.”

The Latton Bush Centre Coffee Shop and Spurriers House Café, operated by Cafes in the Park, have also removed single use plastics from use, in line with the national implementation requirements and both now use compostable cups and wooden stirrers. The Playhouse Bar has eliminated all plastics except for the plastic lids used for paper cups, as these are still used for safety purposes to reduce risk of spillages, although alternatives are still being explored.

Discounts can be provided to customers at the Latton Bush Centre Coffee Shop if they bring their own reusable containers. This is also something that Cafes in the Park are looking to introduce.

If you want to be a part of the Love Essex plastic solution, take the Essex Plastic Pledge at