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Frome’s ‘Green’ councillors lead the way as Somerset County Council goes plastic-free

TWO Frome county councillors are celebrating after their proposal to ban single-use plastics in council facilities received unanimous support.

Somerset County Council voted to end the use and sale of disposable single-use-plastics (such as bottles and cutlery) in council facilities.

The motion was put forward by cllr John Clarke from the Green Party, who represents Frome West, supported by cllr Martin Dimery for Frome East.

The vote will be followed up by a strategy and timetable to implement the ban across all Somerset County Council buildings and facilities including schools and libraries.

This follows Mendip District Council’s recent decision to stop using single- use plastics by April, again proposed by the Green Party.

Frome Town Council has also agreed to a similar measure and has launched a campaign to encourage shops in Frome to find alternatives to single-use plastics.

Cllr Clarke said, “It is estimated that single-use plastic is responsible for the deaths of 100,000 marine animals and one million birds every year. The environmental impact is staggering. Action such as that taken by Somerset and other councils is so important if we are to avert continuing disaster for our oceans and sea life, as well as potential impacts on humans and our environment.”

In support, cllr Dimery said, “John did a great job in bringing forward this motion, and we were pleased that the leader of the council, David Fothergill, was prepared to second it. This is a triumph for the Green Party in being able to work with all sides of the chamber to produce important policies.

“We were impressed that, in advance of the vote, the officers of the council had replaced the usual bottles of spring water supplied during these long meetings with re-useable jugs of tap water. This alone saved over 100 non-recyclable plastic bottles from going to waste.

“This result is significant because Somerset County Council employs over 3,000 people, directly runs half the county schools, and runs libraries, social services and farms, amongst other assets.”

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