Harborough councillor's plea for people to minimise their use of plastic in a bid to save the planet

But his five-point motion urging the council to do even more to improve recycling and crack down on waste was defeated by 18 votes to 12

By Red Williams
Thursday, 24th February 2022, 11:06 am
A Harborough councillor has called on local people to minimise their use of plastic in a bid to save the planet.
A Harborough councillor has called on local people to minimise their use of plastic in a bid to save the planet.

A Harborough councillor has called on local people to minimise their use of plastic in a bid to save the planet.

Cllr Peter James made his plea at a full meeting of Harborough District Council on Monday night (February 21).

The Liberal Democrat member for Little Bowden in Market Harborough spoke out as he declared that UK waste should be recycled in the UK.

But his five-point motion urging the council to do even more to improve recycling and crack down on waste was defeated by 18 votes to 12.

Cllr James said that far too much British waste was being shipped off to countries such as Malaysia and Turkey.

“We continue to dump waste on other countries and much of it is burned in the open air damaging the health of local people, killing wildlife and polluting oceans.

“Working and living conditions are often appalling, akin to modern slavery and encouraging immigration for desperate people.

“In the UK we produce more plastic waste per person than other countries, second only to the USA,” he said.

“Less than 10 per cent of the plastic that we use is recycled.

“Less than 10 per cent of the plastic that we use is recycled in the UK.

“As a district council committed to doing our bit acting on the climate emergency, we need to play our part to stop this appalling practice as does our county council and national Government.

“We need to fix this problem so that it does not harm people and our planet.”

Cllr James said Harborough council should:

1. Call upon residents to minimise the use of plastics in every day life

2. Call upon officers to establish what happens to the district’s recycling plastic waste and where it ends up in the world

3. Call upon local MPs to do all they can to stop dumping plastic waste on other countries

4. Ask MPs to support the common objective to bring about change and ensure UK plastic waste is processed in the UK

5. And officers requested to communicate details of the views of Harborough council to local MPs and request a written acknowledgement and responses.

But Cllr Jonathan Bateman, the council’s Cabinet lead for environmental services, said Cllr James’s aims were all “laudable” but said they had little “sway” because the county council disposed of the district’s waste.

He said people in Harborough were already doing a first-class job recycling and minimising use of plastics.

Cllr Bateman said that the “vast majority of our plastic is processed in the UK” as Cllr James’s motion was thrown out.