Making Hartlepool plastic free - town leaders get behind movement
Council chiefs have backed a movement committing to the removal of single-use plastics across the town.
Council chief executive Gill Alexander said she had been approached by Plastic Free Hartlepool, a movement aiming to raise awareness, educate and encourage communities to reduce their use of single-use plastics.
The group is trying to make Hartlepool the 50th plastic-free community in the UK, and councillors unanimously backed the initiative.
Ms Alexander said the council has been looking at ways to remove single-use plastic items from the civic centre, with no single-use plastic in primary schools and all secondary schools, where possible, moving towards alternative sources.
Cups in the civic centre are made from alternative materials and the council is working with its suppliers to look at alternative packaging.
Council bosses also said it would fit with the “Love Hartlepool” ethos and warned the issue is increasing significant and will continue to rise on a global scale without action.
Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher praised the group and said letters should be written to those within the group for their work.
He said: “What was seen as a global issue they really made that local and brought it home.
“They’ve done more than that, they’ve created a movement in Hartlepool where it empowered people to go out and actually do something.
“We should make these small steps and those steps should get more ambitious as we move on. I can’t speak highly enough of the work they do.”
Coun Sue Little praised the work of people in the town the pick up plastics, but urged more to be done in some areas.
She said: “We have all these people doing so well picking litter off our beaches and our streams, but we have hundreds of wagons coming every day to dump their plastics.
“I’d say 80% of those wagons have got their covers on, but that 20% is leaving a trail of litter where our workmen are going out and picking it up, it’s blowing into our sea, in our ditches, our becks, something needs to be done about that as well.”