Meeting documents

Oxfordshire Waste Partnership Joint Committee (meeting with the Oxfordshire Environment Partnership)
Friday, 24 October 2008

 

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Funding available to help create 'plastic bag free' towns

 

Oxfordshire County Council and Oxfordshire Waste Partnership are asking towns in the county to come forward with plans to cut plastic bag use and instead encourage residents to take reusable bags when they do their shopping.

Following the success of Wantage's 'Plastic not fantastic' campaign, the council and partnership are extending financial support for these initiatives to other towns, in the form of a grant to buy initial stocks of cotton or jute shopping bags. The towns can then use the money raised from sales of the bags to fund future supplies.

As well as actively cutting down the environmental damage caused by excess packaging, the bags can also be used to promote local businesses and raise awareness of the town.

The Oxfordshire Town Chambers Network (OTCN) has just published a guide on plastic bag-free town campaigns, drawing on the experience of towns that have run projects already.

Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, Councillor Roger Belson, said: "We are pleased to be in a position to do this. We believe that the people in our towns and city will come forward with great enthusiasm. They have already shown what keen recyclers they are by recycling 40 per cent of the county's waste. That makes us one of the best parts of the country."

"Plastic bags are an absolute nuisance. They take many years to bio-degrade and are made from valuable resources. As a society we tend to just throw them away after having used them only the once. Here's hoping those days will soon be gone in Oxfordshire."

OTCN Director, Iain Nicholson said: "The offer of grant funding is a very welcome initiative by the county council and waste partnership. Plastic bag-free town projects have proved very popular in the towns that have them, both among shoppers and also as a way of bringing traders, businesses, local schools and community members together on a positive campaign." The guide, along with ones on creating a shoppers guide and running prize draw promotions, is available at www.otcn.co.uk."

Applications for the grant funding will need to come from a town partnership, business partnership, Chamber of Commerce or town council, and must include a business plan to ensure sustainability of the proposed scheme.

How to apply

More details of the scheme and an application form are available by going to:

www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/plasticbagfree

Grants will be allocated depending on demand for the scheme, and all applications should be sent to the County Council's Waste Reduction Officer by 12 December 2008.

The applications will be assessed by relevant officers and a decision will be reached by the Head of Sustainable Development in consultation with the Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Sustainable Development and the chair of Oxfordshire Waste Partnership. It is envisaged that the applicant will then be notified by the end of December 2008.

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