Cllr Suzanne Brimm has launched a campaign to reduce plastic waste across Thanet and has secured cross-party support for her initiative.
She has identified single-use water bottles and plastic straws as key local offenders, often making their way into the marine environment and is encouraging local businesses to offer water refill stations and to roll out paper straws, particularly around Thanet’s popular Blue Flag beaches to reduce waste ending up on our coastlines and the sea. Plastics can take up to 500 years to decompose, often resulting in the release of toxic substances. The amount of plastic used globally is staggering, with an estimated 165 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans. The UK uses 5 million tonnes of plastic each year, with only 24% recycled.
Cllr Brimm said “I would like to see Thanet emulate the hugely successful Refill campaign that is working in Bristol. They have rolled out a Refill App which shows which local businesses are happy to refill bottles. I am now seeking out local businesses who are willing to get involved. Britain’s drinking water is some of the safest in the world, it is simply daft to buy bottled water and then simply throw away the bottle.”
Supporting the campaign, Thanet’s Green Party spokesman, Trevor Roper said “This is a positive initiative that will help Thanet. With 500,000,000,000 (half a trillion) plastic bottles used annually around the world, each refill represents a saving of oil, manufacture and transport, all of which create a massive carbon footprint. On top of that there is the environmental saving of rubbish collection and landfill, and cleaner beaches. This is a triple win.”
Also in support of the clean-up at Ramsgate’s main sands was South Thanet’s MP Craig Mackinlay who said. “I have become increasingly active in the anti-plastics campaign. I am pleased that plastic microbeads, used in many everyday products such as toothpaste and cosmetics are to be banned in the UK. It is time that retailers start to consider their use of excessive plastic packaging. I will be doing all that I can to support Cllr Brimm’s excellent campaign including raising the issue in Parliament.”