‘Everyone must do their bit to protect the environment by cutting plastic waste’.
That is a message behind a motion that will be put forward for consideration by Cherwell District Council on Monday calling on it to ‘set an example’.
Labour councillor Sean Woodcock is proposing that the council is audited to identify the use of excess plastic as part of a wider awareness campaign to reduce plastic pollution.
The councillor is also calling for the authority to consider putting drinking water fountains in town and village centres to encourage the use of re-usable drinking water bottles.
Cllr Woodcock said: “Blue Planet 2 [the David Attenborough TV show]brought home to the public the considerable damage caused to eco-systems and the environment by the dumping of plastic in our oceans.
“I am calling for the council to set an example by looking at its own level of plastic consumption, with an effective PR campaign to inform the public and to seriously look at putting drinking fountains in our urban centres. This should cut the number of plastic bottles on our streets and in our bins.”
Last month, Cherwell encouraged businesses and shops to register water refilling stations on a smartphone app to promote the use of reusable bottles.
Cllr Debbie Pickford, Cherwell’s lead member for clean and green is backing the Refill scheme. She said: “Plastic pollution is a real problem around the world, posing a risk to wildlife and waterways. We can all do more to help stop it.”
By using and registering on the Refill app, people in Bicester and across the Cherwell district can locate places to fill up their bottles and earn points to exchange their bottles for a free stainless steel bottle.
A council spokesperson said 11 Bicester businesses, 16 in Banbury, and three villages in Cherwell have signed up to the scheme so far.
This comes as Prime Minister Theresa May announced an environmental plan last month, setting out the ambition to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste within 25 years.
Greenpeace estimates that every day 16 million plastic bottles in the UK end up in our environment.
According to a study by researchers at Plymouth University, 700 different marine species are threatened by the presence of plastic in oceans, which then ends up back in the food chain.