The report was presented by the Strategic Lead for Waste. She explained that Cabinet had adopted the single use plastic policy last year around February 2022 and a framework is required to be implemented to make sure that the Council are acting to that policy. The report outlines the two proposed options for implementing the policy.
The report recommends option 2 is taken forward which is to implement a procurement process to ensure that the policy is considered at the point of procurement for new procurements and a review is carried out for live contracts.
The Chair queried how the policy would work in terms of enforcing this against external providers.
The Strategic Lead for Waste gave the example that in a recent contact for new uniforms it was specificed in the procurement contract that they were not to be delivered in single use plastic.
Councillor Byrne queried what has been done in the last year and asked it the policy had been forgotten about.
The Strategic Lead for Waste agreed the route to delivery has been delayed. She confirmed that it is part of the procurement process and they are trying to strengthen the process.
Councillor Muldowney stated that she had looked back at the decision made by Cabinet a year ago that said elimination of Single Use Plastic was to be a priority. She queried what was being proposed now.
The Strategic Lead for Waste confirmed that what is being proposed is a route for delivery to what Cabinet decided.
Councillor Muldowney queried the differences between options 1 and 2.
The Strategic Lead for Waste responded that option 1 would require a project manager to deliver the strategy, calculations of time needed at different levels to deliver on that first option have been completed and given the Council’s current sitution it was not considered the best use of time. It was felt at a procurement level the same goals could be delivered in a lot less time intensive way.
Councillor Muldowney stated that the calculations and data should be in the report so that the Committee is able to properly scrutinise the options and know what each one means. Councillor Muldowney requested that the data is provided after the meeting.
The Strategic Lead for Waste agreed the data would be provided to Members the following day.
Councillor Arnold queried how the policy can be policed and if it will be more expensive to change contracts.
The Strategic Lead for Waste confirmed that through the contract change policy, financial implications will be considered on an individual basis. Sometimes it reduces the costs. The policy will be policed through a robust look at contracts and the procurement process and it will be considered at the point of purchase.
Councillor Chukwu queried how it will be implemented in schools and if they are on board.
The Strategic Lead for Waste responded that they will be writing supporting documents to help explain it to Schools. The Government is banning disposbale plastic cutlery anyway this Summer which also helps. She stated that they have had some good engagement with schools and have sent an education person into Schools to talk about recycling and single use plastics. The Schools are on board and are interested about how they can support it further. In relation to events on council land, conditions will be attached regarding single use plastics.
Councillor Chukwu queried if this could be extended to the business world.
The Strategic Lead for Waste confirmed they are part of a Partnership called Oceans Together with DP World where they share good practice to reduce single use plastics and recycling. DP World found a way of recycling pallet wrapping and shared it within that forum.
Councillor Muldowney queried if the officers are confident they can deliver the policy through the procurement process.
The Strategic Lead for Waste responded that in the governance forms to procure it asks the individual contract manager to confirm that they have considered all the options and the process can therefore be audited.
The Assistant Director for Street Scene and Leisure added that as part of going out to tender there will be a requirement that they don’t want the goods to be supplied in single use plastics and the supplier needs to demonstrate how they will meet those requirements.
Councillor Muldowney queried if there are any plans to educate council staff.
The Strategic Lead for Waste stated that there are plans to educate staff and they could off this training to members too.
Councillor Muldowney queried if the decision needs to be made tonight as she would like to have seen the supporting data.
The Strategic Lead for Waste responded that if a decision is not made tonight it will delay the roll out.
Councillor Muldowney confirmed that she didn’t want to cause delay and she is happy to agree the recommendations tonight provided the data and calculations completed are provided tomorrow.
The Chair agreed that the data should be provided to members tomorrow.
1.1 To agree the approach across the Council to implement to eliminate where possible SUP’s from Thurrock Council