Agenda item

Approval of Single Use Plastics Policy and Action Plan

[Report of the Director for Housing, Planning and Regeneration. To be introduced by the Cabinet Member for  Climate Change and Sustainability.]


Cabinet are asked to approve the policy and action plan on reducing Single Use plastics, including implementation.


The Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Sustainability was pleased to introduce the report which sought adoption of the Single Use Plastics Policies and approval of the Single Use Plastics Action Plans. She outlined that 8 million tonnes of plastic ended up in the ocean each year, with plastic remaining a pollutant for hundreds of years. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the use of Single Use Plastics had spiralled over the last six months (in order to maintain infection control).


The Cabinet Member outlined that there were two sections to the Action Plan – the first was to set out how the Council would show leadership and use it’s procurement powers and purchaser requirements, and its own operational practices to reduce the use of single use plastics in its operations. The second Action Plan set out how the Council would continue to work with partners and empower the wider Haringey community to reduce the use of single use plastics.


In response to a question from the Leader, Joe Baker – Head of Carbon Management, advised that there had already been some changes made by the Council in the reduction of single use plastics, such as the material used for parking tickets, the provision of Council branded keep ups for purchase in the canteen and a surcharge for the use of single use cups.


The following information was provided in response to questions from Councillor Ogiehor:


  • The Council had looked into installing water fountains in the borough; however, the challenge was that the costs to maintain the fountains was excessive. The GLA could install fountains and maintain these accordingly.


  • It was important to ensure the policy was watertight before putting to Cabinet for approval, which was why it may feel that there had been a delay in implementation.




To approve the Single Use Plastics Policies and accompanying Action Plans, attached at Appendices 1 and 2 of this report, which outlines how the Council will reduce Single Use Plastics in the Council and across the borough.


Reasons for decision


Haringey Council is committed to doing everything possible to respond to the climate emergency and improve sustainability across its own operations and in the borough of Haringey.


The policies and action plans contribute to the Place Priority of the Borough Plan, specifically objective 10 to make the borough a cleaner, accessible, and attractive place – targeting waste minimisation.


Reducing consumption across the Council’s offices and the borough will save money, reduce waste, improve our environment, and decrease the amount of harmful plastics ending up in the world’s oceans or in landfill.


The Single Use Plastics (SUPs) Policies and accompanying Action Plans represent a step towards this by outlining exactly what the Council will be doing to reduce reliance on SUPs within its own offices, on Haringey Council owned land, in Haringey schools, and across the borough.


Haringey Council has already taken bold steps to reduce SUPs, such as working with the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) on a low-plastic zone in Crouch End, reducing SUPs in Council offices and getting businesses signed up to refill schemes.


Alternative options considered


Do Nothing


This was rejected as it would not comply with the Borough Plan, specifically objective 10 to make the borough a cleaner, accessible, and attractive place – targeting waste minimisation.


Do a Council plan only


This was rejected, as the Council is well placed to help reduce SUPs beyond its own organisation. To only focus on plastics the Council directly uses would miss opportunities, such as SUPs at events, SUPs in schools and SUPs used by the Council’s partners.


Do a Borough plan only


This was rejected as the Council can learn from its own experience of reducing SUPs to inform the most effective ways to work in the borough. The Council would not want to offer advice on reducing SUPs if it could not demonstrate its own efforts to reduce SUPs.


Supporting documents: