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Motion calls on Council to outlaw single use plastics like straws, cutlery and bottles

Calls for free water dispensers in council facilities and drinking fountains across district

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is to consider outlawing single use plastic products.

It could phase out all such products – such as bottles, cups, cutlery and drinking straws – in all council activities.

And if it proceeds, if will be off the back of a notice of motion brought forward by Sinn Fein Councillor Willie Clarke.

He had tabled the motion to go to the monthly meeting of council and it will now be referred back to the regulatory and technical services committee when it sits later this month.

The motion also urges the council to adopt a policy whereby any new catering contracts which come up for tender will also include a requirement to cut single use plastic waste.

The motion states: “Council will also encourage our facilities’ users, local businesses and other local public agencies to do the same by promoting alternatives, such as reusable water bottles.

“Council will provide a free water dispenser in our main reception areas in civic and leisure buildings and investigate installing water drinking fountains throughout the council area.”

Councillor Clarke is hoping that others will support his call to action.

He said: “Whilst the great in roads into plastic recycling have to be commended, the three principles of waste reduction are reducing, reuse and recycle, and whilst recycling is important, reducing our consumption of plastics and reusing the plastics are critical components of success.

“Taking single use plastic out of the equation, has to be a priority for us all.

“From a health perspective and an economic perspective, our district, which is highly tied to the marine environment, tourism and fisheries, Sinn Féin are concerned that single use plastic is having a detrimental impact and so we want to try to reduce that impact.

“I live in a coastal community at Newcastle Harbour and I witness the large amounts of single use plastic bottles on our beaches and waterways.”

As the motion goes forward for discussion, councillot Clarke is encouraging all parties to stand up and declare: “Enough is enough!”

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