Single-use plastic and disposable containers are set to become a thing of the past at County Hall.
Pembrokeshire County Council’s Chief Executive Ian Westley has pledged his commitment towards creating a more eco-friendly environment in the canteen and other key locations around the building.
Ian Westley said the Council was fully committed to change with regard to the Council’s policy on single use plastics:
“This year we are asking the people of Pembrokeshire to make changes in how they recycle,” he said.
“While we fully believe that these changes are for the good of Pembrokeshire and the wider environment, it is vital that we display the values and actions that we are encouraging from our residents.
“We want PCC to be a standard bearer.”
Staff are being encouraged to bring in their own containers if they want to take their food off-site, while eco-friendly alternatives are being sourced instead of providing disposable containers.
Plastic knives and forks are being scrapped and single-use plastic cups will no longer stored next to water coolers.
And as part of the Council’s commitment to going greener, a plastic-free canteen day will be held in August.
The change is already being embraced enthusiastically by many members of staff, says Ian.
“As a large organisation, we can’t simply change overnight but looking at the national media and from listening to the public and our own employees’ wishes, this change is fully in keeping with the mood across the nation and critically, it is what one should expect from a responsible Local Authority,” he said.
“Recent conversations and surveys have shown that vast majority of our staff would support our movement towards a more plastic-free organisation.”
And it’s not just County Hall which is picking up the eco-friendly baton.
Plastic cutlery has been removed from the majority of schools across the County and many pupils are encouraged to have refillable water bottles.
Cllr Cris Tomos, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said the focus on eliminating single-use plastics was a natural development from the Authority’s move towards becoming paper-free.
“Last year’s World Paper-Free Day in which the Council participated, together with a move towards Agile Working, has supported staff to change their practices with an emphasis on printing where only necessary,” he said.
“Part of our agenda for recycling change was to sign up to the Courtauld Agreement, which not only affirms our commitment to reduce our paper and single-use plastic rates, it encourages us to act in the interests of our County, working with businesses and larger organisations to inspire them to reduce their packaging and waste footprint.
“This is something we will increasingly look to do in the coming months.”