Finally! City Hall throws out plastic cups and water bottles
Bristol City Council has taken a bold step in reducing single-use plastics and promoting sustainable alternatives, but campaigners say more is still to be done to meet the promises made last year in response to a petition to eliminate wasteful plastic across Bristol.
Drinks are no longer being sold in single-use cups at City Hall.
Staff will have to bring their own re-usable cup and visitors will be served drinks in ceramic mugs. This is one of a number of changes that will reduce single-use plastics in council-run outlets and buildings, following the unanimous passing of a Full Council motion in December 2017 which called on the whole council to take action.
Other changes include the serving of water in glasses at full council meetings and the installation of a second water fountain on the first floor of City Hall, which has become a ‘Refill’ station – meaning members of the public can drop in to fill up their bottles. Freestanding water coolers have been removed from meeting rooms and plastic cups are no longer available. The staff cafe at City Hall will be phasing out the sale of water in plastic bottles and reducing the use other items of plastic food packaging and tableware. Further plans include making sure that outlets including council-run cafes in parks and museums offer reusable cups for sale, and improvements to some of the recycling facilities in council offices.
More than 4,000 people signed a petition brought forward by Redland councillor Martin Fodor and Alex Morss of Bristol-based community group One By One Conservation calling for Bristol to lead the way and eliminate wasteful plastic across Bristol. Cllr Fodor said: “This is great news, though frustrating that it’s taken over a year since councillors asked for action over disposables in our City Hall staff café – the main change is to install a dishwasher and buy reusable mugs, as that facility was missing.
“When we presented the petition with thousands of signatures we asked the council to do many things to help eliminate single use disposable plastics from the city through its own actions. What would really help get the changes adopted is for the Mayor to confirm all the promises made when they ‘replied’ to the petition. We’d like all the points made then to be formally adopted and actions confirmed, so that they don’t get forgotten. Without adoption and solid, time bound targets nothing might be done, no support could be given to implement them, and we could wait forever. I don’t think the residents want that to happen. So what’s needed is an action plan.”