11 December 2018
Brighton and Hove Green party have launched a petition calling for all major events in the city to be ‘single-use plastic-free’.
Greens have been amazed by how quickly this has taken off, in a few weeks over 3120 people have signed the petition that calls on the Labour Council and the organisers and sponsors of the city's biggest public events to commit to eliminating the use of single-use plastics by 2020 at the latest.
Internationally, each year, over 8 million tonnes of plastic finds its way into our oceans and some of it already turns up on Brighton beach, but the impact is even worse when city events create vast amounts of additional waste such as water bottles from the competetive races or disposable plastic glasses during festivals & events.
In 2017 the impact of a seafront running event was monitored and the Green Party has been informed that 365 Lucozade bottles were discarded in only 20 linear metres of the course. The clean up operation is often insufficient and too late to stop the bottles from blowing in the sea with disastrous consequences for wildlife.
It doesn't have to be this way. Events should be using alternatives such as stack cup and water refill stations or commemorative cups which
The campaign is organised by Carole Mortimer and Sarah Nicholls, Joint Campaigns Coordinator for Brighton and Hove Green Party. Carole said:“In the summer of 2018, Green Councillors persuaded Brighton & Hove's Labour Council to introduce new criteria to ensure city events go 'plastic free' and in particular that event organisers eliminate single-use plastics as a condition of their event permission. Following this success the Councillors presented another proposal to investigate food waste collections and an increase in plastic recycling, this passed, but without the support of a single Labour Councillor.
“Now we need action on this progress and to ensure that future events in our city are plastic free: no ifs, no buts. By 2020 at the latest no major public event should be given permission, funding or sponsorship if they are using single-use plastics”
Greens will be following up the petition by writing to all organisers and sponsors of events in the city and asking them about their plans to go plastic-free and to commit to the 2020 deadline. Responses will be published and postive moves strongly supported, likewise, we will be sure the public know about those who have no intention of improving their event's environmental record. The Greens also have the option of forcing an debate in the council as the petition has reached the 1,500 signatures required to do so.
The Green party notes that some people need to use plastic items due to medical and access issues and would be sure to uphold the rights of these people to use such items with impunity.