Report calls for tougher government action on single-use plastics
Today the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel is publishing its report following an in-depth review on ‘Reducing use of plastics in Jersey’.
The review was prompted by a growing public concern into the effects of global plastic pollution and a lack of clear government strategy at local level as to how we can reduce our use of plastics.
The Panel’s review outlines a total of 18 key findings and makes 20 recommendations. In summary, the main key findings and recommendations are as follows:
- An estimated 6% of Jersey’s plastic bottles are recycled, with the figures for supermarket film and agricultural crop cover unknown. The Panel has recommended that realistic recycling targets are set and that more robust methods are needed for calculating the amount of plastic waste in the waste stream.
- Currently, only 6 out of the 12 parishes offer kerbside recycling. A number of submissions to the Panel highlighted the need for a more consistent approach to kerbside recycling. The Panel has recommended that parishes currently not offering kerbside recycling put together fully costed proposals for discussion at future Parish Assemblies.
- Other countries appear to achieve high recycling rates by combining a range of different policy initiatives, including bottle deposit return schemes and public water fountains / refill stations. The Panel has recommended that the Government of Jersey commit to further investigation of these types of initiatives.
- Businesses have an important role to play in reducing plastic consumption and many are taking steps to do so. However, the evidence obtained during the course of the review revealed that they often face challenges in doing so and that further government support is needed to help them make and reach their own targets. The Panel has recommended that the Government of Jersey needs to engage better with various industries, including taking a partnership approach to tackling the issue of plastics.
- There are many avoidable single-use plastics that already have suitable eco-friendly alternatives. The Panel has recommended that the Government of Jersey align with the European Union and impose a ban on all avoidable single-use plastics.
Connétable Mike Jackson, Chairman of the Panel, says:
“The Panel was pleased to hear about the important awareness raising initiatives that are currently carried out through the Eco Active programme. However, as the evidence gathered during our review shows, public awareness initiatives need to be complemented with more robust economic and regulatory policy measures, in order to achieve notable reductions in the use of plastic. As a Panel, we urge the Minister for the Environment to align with the European Union and ban all avoidable single-use plastics.”