Plymouth to get rid of single-use plastics before Europe deadline

Plymouth’s Plan for Plastics aims to tackle plastic pollution and reduce single use plastics.

Plymouth City Council has reacted to the recent European Parliament vote to ban single-use plastics by 2021 by saying that the city won’t be waiting that long to make further efforts to stop polluting the oceans with items such as tea stirrers, straws, plastic bags and water bottles.

Councillor Sue Dann, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Street Scene, said “Our city has already made great steps towards reducing single-use plastics, and we want to continue pushing forward with progress. The European Parliament announcement is great news but we don’t want to wait until 2021 to make it happen here. The city’s plastic reduction work has been really well supported by businesses, schools, voluntary organisations and individuals and we are now looking to take this to the next level; at the next Full Council I will be announcing a motion to accelerate the phasing out of single-use plastics by 2020.”

Plymouth is the first to achieve Plastic Free Communities Status for its iconic waterfront.

A range of public, private and voluntary sector organisations have joined together to form a collaborative Britain’s Ocean City Plastics Taskforce, including the Council, Environment Plymouth, Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, National Marine Aquarium and Redrok. The taskforce is driving reductions in single-use plastics, increased recycling and looking for innovative ways to reduce plastic pollution. The Taskforce launched its well-supported Plan for Plastics this summer with a week of action, including community beach cleans.

Penny Tarrant, Environment Plymouth, said “Although we spearheaded the campaign to be the first city to gain Surfers Against Sewage’s Plastic Free Plymouth Waterfront accreditation we know there is still much more to be done and we are fully supportive of the proposal to accelerate work to reduce single-use plastics. We are working with schools and businesses and we know across Plymouth people are fully behind work to reduce plastic pollution.”

Sarah Gibson, Chief Executive of the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership Business Improvement District, said “As part of the Taskforce we are fully behind the goal to reduce single-use plastics from circulation. Our BID events are single-use plastic free, we’ve secured discounts on alternative products to make transition easier for more than 900 traders and the Waterfront business community have committed their support to make changes. This winter we’re reinforcing the work with a 14 week Polar Bear Explorer trail across the Waterfront to highlight the simple changes that we can all make at home and at work to remove single-use plastics from the environment.”

David Williams, Redrok Managing Director, said “I’m proud to lead Redrok as the organisation producing the One Plymouth and Britain’s Ocean City branded cups and bottles, enabling the city to champion the need for Plymouth to stop using single use plastic items such as straws and cutlery.”

Find out more about the Plan for Plastics at or search #PlasticsPledgePlym on Twitter.


Watch: What happens to your plastics recycling in Plymouth?