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Harrogate council pledges to go plastic-free

Harrogate council pledges to go plastic-free

Published at 1:03pm 13th February 2019. (Updated at 9:08am 27th February 2019)

Harrogate Borough Council will phase out its own use of single-use plastics over the next two years, in an initiative aimed at leading the way for large-employers across the authority.

  • Harrogate council has approved a plan to cut plastic waste following a review into the council's use of single-use items
  • It has been motivated by the council's increased use of plastic cups and cutlery, after it moved to a new headquarters at St Luke's Mount in 2017
  • The council will stop using plastic mugs and cups in meetings - a policy that will extend to council-owned and managed businesses from July 2019

Cabinet members approved an action plan to cut plastic waste at a meeting earlier this month, following the completion of a review into the council’s use of single-use items.

It comes after a notice of motion from Liberal Democrat Councillor Pat Marsh last year, in which she called for the council to play a leading role in encouraging the district to cut down on plastic use.

Coun Marsh said the motion was motivated by the council’s increased use of plastic cups and cutlery as a result of their move to a new headquarters on St Luke’s Mount in late 2017.

While pleased the council has implemented the new policy, she said she had hoped the action plan would formally acknowledge that council would encourage other large organisations to cut plastic use.

She said:

“We’ve got to lead the way here as the local authority.

“It’s not just what we as a council do, it’s about encouraging others to do the same.”

Among the changes detailed in the policy are that the council will stop the use of plastic mugs and cups at meetings at their Civic Centre headquarters, a process which started in 2018.

They’ll also extend the changes to council owned and managed businesses – with their renewed contract with the Hydro cafe to include plastic-free agreements from July 2019.

The council will also review options at the Turkish Baths for using re-fillable
products and providing recycling facilities on site.