Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world today. The UK government estimates that there are currently more than 150 million tonnes of plastic in the world's oceans, and 100,000 sea mammals and one million birds die from eating or becoming tangled in plastic waste each year.

DEFRA has published its 25 Year Environmental Plan, presenting their target of "achieving zero avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042".

What are single-use plastics - SUP?

The definition for SUP, according to the Institute for European Environmental Policy: "single use plastics can include any disposable plastic item which is designed to be used only once". Single use items are often used in packaging, consumer products, cosmetics and healthcare. Examples include: light-weight plastic bags, disposable utensils, stirrers, beverage containers, plastic lids, coffee capsules, and wet wipes.

The Policy

SBC is committed to reducing the use of SUPs within Spelthorne and, with this in mind, we support the county council's call to the Government to bring forward the 2042 date.

SBC will work towards zero avoidable SUP across its own operations and services.

SBC will also proactively work with other organisations to find positive solutions to reducing SUP across Spelthorne, with a commitment to work towards Spelthorne becoming SUP free.

More specifically, SBC will commit to the following:

  1. Reduce, with the aim to end, the use of SUP products across SBC estates
  2. Ensure that our procurement policy and procedures require all of our suppliers to minimise and work towards zero avoidable SUP use (wherever possible). This includes at any events run by SBC
  3. Support greater awareness and action from our suppliers and contractors in finding sustainable SUP replacements wherever appropriate and encourage higher recycling rates across SBC estates
  4. Share best practice, raise awareness, and support SBC staff, businesses, schools, communities, other authorities and beyond towards making their own estates SUP free zones
  5. Work with all stakeholders including the county council, schools, communities and businesses to promote, support and innovate to reduce SUP across Spelthorne