As a part of our commitment to building a greener Nottingham, I was delighted to be involved in the launch of the new Refill scheme in the city recently. Thanks to Blue Planet 2 I believe more people are aware of the need to reduce our use of plastic in general, and single use plastic in particular. Therefore this scheme which makes it easy for individuals to re-use their bottles or refill their own bottle rather than buying a new one is very welcome.
It is a very simple but effective idea that 60 businesses in Nottingham have already signed up; with support coming from Seven Trent Water, 200 Degrees Coffee and the Malt Cross to name just a few. These businesses now proudly display their Refill window stickers, as well as appearing on the Refill app where people can find any Refill Station here in Nottingham or across the UK.
This initiative will make a real impact on one of the biggest single use plastic offenders. There has been a real move towards sustainability in the city from both citizens and businesses and all are keen to reduce their environmental impact, so I am really pleased but not surprised that this initiative has done so well in Nottingham.
Of course while we are tackling single use plastic like water bottles, it is important not to forget the other plastics which people use and dispose of every day. Currently about 3% of waste going into our recycling bins is plastic and the majority of this is recycled, that which cannot be recycled goes to fuel cement kilns, none of the unrecyclable plastic goes to landfill. Our recycling contractor, WasteCycle runs a tight ship and we are confident that their plastic goes to legitimate destinations in Western Europe for recycling. In our general waste bins around 17% is plastic, this goes for incineration along with all other residual waste, apart from periods of incinerator shutdown for example for annual maintenance.
The government is due to launch the Resources and Waste Strategy next year, and I hope that our ability to reduce the quantity of plastic waste in the system will be supported by the Strategy.
In the meantime, I would encourage everyone to download The Refill app for free on Google Play or the App Store. Anyone wanting to get in touch, find out more about Refill, or those looking to sign up or become an ambassador, can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cllr Sally Longford
Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment