Harrogate council pledges to go plastic-free

Single use: Council's crack down on plastic is now a formal policy. Picture: Lachlan Leeming
Single use: Council's crack down on plastic is now a formal policy. Picture: Lachlan Leeming

Harrogate Borough Council will phase out its own use of single-use plastics over the next two years, in an initiative aimed at leading the way for large-employers across the authority.

Cabinet members approved an action plan to cut plastic waste at a meeting earlier this month, following the completion of a review into the council's use of single-use items.

It comes after a notice of motion from Liberal Democrat Councillor Pat Marsh last year, in which she called for the council to play a leading role in encouraging the district to cut down on plastic use.

Coun Marsh said the motion was motivated by the council's increased use of plastic cups and cutlery as a result of their move to a new headquarters on St Luke's Mount in late 2017.

Last-minute fireworks as budget gets thumbs up from Harrogate Borough Council

While pleased the council has implemented the new policy, she said she had hoped the action plan would formally acknowledge that council would encourage other large organisations to cut plastic use.

"We've got to lead the way here as the local authority," she said.

"It's not just what we as a council do, it's about encouraging others to do the same."

Businesses voice support for alternate Flaxby 'village' site as Harrogate Local Plan hearings wrap up
Among the changes detailed in the policy are that the council will stop the use of plastic mugs and cups at meetings at their Civic Centre headquarters, a process which started in 2018.

They'll also extend the changes to council owned and managed businesses - with their renewed contract with the Hydro cafe to include plastic-free agreements from July 2019.

Campaign to save future of threatened Harrogate school steps up another gear

The council will also review options at the Turkish Baths for using re-fillable products and providing recycling facilities on site.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter