Wednesday, 13 June 2007

*Plastic not Fantastic - Blight of Plastic Bags

The Mayor of London is being urged to follow the example of the town of Modbury by working with retailers to make London a plastic bag-free city.

Darren Johnson, a Green Party Member of the London Assembly said:
"In the absence of Government legislation and action, Ken Livingstone should follow the example of Modbury in Devon, the first town in England to remove non-degradable plastic bags, and bring pressure on London retailers to phase out totally non-biodegradable bags and come up with alternatives such as cloth, paper or biodegradable bags"
Darren added, "When you consider that a non-biodegradable bag can take up to a 1000 years to decay into a toxic sludge and can end up as rubbish floating in the sea, the Government has shown incredible
environmental complacency. It must urgently rethink its position and
introduce similar legislation to the Irish Governments 'plastax',
which resulted in a 90% decrease in their plastic bag consumption".

1) Mayor's Question Time - 23rd May 2007
- Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London's answer to Darren Johnson's question on a 'Plastic Bag Free City'
MQT: Question No: 897 / 2007
Question by Darren Johnson, Green Party Member of the London Assembly:
Should the Mayor be following the example of the small town of Modbury in working with retailers to make London a plastic bag-free city?
Answer from the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone:
Whilst making London a plastic bag-free city is a laudable goal, it
needs to be recognised that it is a significantly larger scale than
Modbury with its 43 shopkeepers.

This year my waste officers will be producing a waste reduction and
reuse plan to set out measures for reducing London's waste and
increasing reuse. This will include identifying methods for reducing
the use of plastic bags by retailers in London.

In addition, there are several proposals in my draft Business Waste
Strategy that will address the reduction of plastic bags, such as:
* the production of a retail sector action plan,
* a conference of producers and grocery retailers to discuss the
production and retail of materials that cannot be recycled or
composted in London, and
* negotiating with the Government to establish statutory measures
to implement producer responsibility legislation rather than
persisting with voluntary agreements.

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