Alderney moves closer to ban on single use plastic
THE States of Alderney will take the first steps toward banning the import of some single use plastics next week when it debates the issue.
It was put before the public at the July People’s Meeting by Policy and Finance Committee chairman James Dent.
He explained in the July Billet that Alderney had signed the Blue Islands environmental charter in March. The draft charter pledges that participants ‘move towards a complete ban on single-use plastics entering the island and its local environments’.
Mr Dent wrote: ‘In the Blue Islands draft charter, reference is made to the environmental damage caused by single-use plastics. The elimination of these products is seen as an important first goal.’
The topic did not attract much comment at the meeting, with most attendees apparently supportive of the debate, which has no actual propositions attached to it.
Several residents complained about the lack of kerbside recycling on Alderney. Former States member and Age Concern worker Barbara Benfield pointed out how difficult recycling could be for elderly people who did not drive.
The impetus to reduce plastic consumption on the island has come from residents and the Alderney Wildlife Trust.
Two residents set up a Facebook group chronicling their attempts to live plastic-free, called Turn the Tide.
AWT’s efforts have seen plastic straws withdrawn from most bars and restaurants and plastic bag use stopped at Jean’s Stores and the Farm Shop. It also introduced a reusable glass bottle scheme for local milk.
Boardman’s Pharmacy stocks plastic free alternatives to products such as toothbrushes, cotton buds and nail brushes and offers shampoo refills. Shops, bars and restaurants also carry signs that let people know they can fill up bottles with tap water free of charge.
Claire Thorpe, head of outreach at AWT, said it was encouraging that the States was getting involved by considering banning the import of certain single use plastics.
‘We’ve already made real progress, with lots of businesses having voluntarily stopped using things like straws, carrier bags, coffee stirrers and coffee cups.
‘Having the States considering moving towards banning certain items is a very positive step forward.’
She hopes the States considers banning cotton bud sticks – which if flushed enter the marine environment – plus plastic straws, coffee stirrers and plastic carrier bags, and later takeaway coffee cups.
She said it should not cause too much of a headache for businesses.
‘Lots of supermarkets are making alternatives to things like cotton buds so that could be a really easy thing to do,’ she said.
‘Businesses that have banned plastic bags have done really well – people haven’t suddenly not been able to do their shopping. It’s very doable. If you ban a certain product it creates a level playing field for businesses.’