Single-use plastics can be described as any disposable plastic item that is designed to be used only once. Single-use plastics are often used in packaging, consumer products, cosmetics and healthcare. Examples include plastic bags, disposable utensils, beverage containers, balloons and wet wipes. It is estimated that around 50% of plastic waste we produce globally is packaging that is used just once. There are two key issues linked to this policy:
1. Plastic pollution is litter - Plastic pollution is both a global and local issue that affects the natural and urban environment, the oceans, beaches and links to people’s health and wellbeing. All of which contribute greatly to the local economy and support a diverse range of habitats and species which are at risk due to plastic pollution.
2. Plastic is a major contributor to climate change - Chemicals derived from fossil fuel production are used to make almost all plastics. The more plastic made, the more petrochemicals are required, and the more petrochemicals required, the higher the demand for gas, oil and even coal.
The Single Use Plastic Policy
Wessex Cleaning Equipment will act to remove and reduce the use of Single Use Plastic from its operations and services as well as working towards finding positive solutions for reducing unnecessary waste.
How we will go about doing this:
A SUP action plan supports this policy setting out what, how and when this will be achieved. Implementing this policy Wessex Cleaning Equipment will:
Lead by example
All Wessex teams will reduce and remove SUP across Wessex buildings and services
Embed the SUP policy into other key strategies, policies and plans
Where the use of plastics is unavoidable, Wessex Cleaning Equipment will encourage the use of recycled plastics, supporting manufacturers that make products from locally sourced waste plastics
Work with our suppliers and contractors
Ask Wessex Cleaning Equipment suppliers to have a SUP policy in place or demonstrate that they are minimising the use of single-use plastics in their service provision and are finding sustainable alternatives (where appropriate)
The SUP policy is embedded in procurement and tender processes for Wessex Cleaning Equipment
The single use plastic action plan will provide the ongoing planned changes to remove and reduce SUP.
The work to implement the policy will be in 2 phases:
A SUP audit will be carried out through the Operations team on an annual basis.