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Bury Council aims to be plastic-free by 2022

Bury could become one of the first boroughs in the country to go plastic-free, and by 2022.

The plans, set to go before the council on Wednesday (16  Jan), proposes to create plastic-free community spaces in Bury's parks, libraries and community and leisure centres.

Community groups who share ambitions to support the plastic-free agenda will also be able to bid for a share of £20,000 from the council's social capital fund.

The council further suggests that the requirement to be plastic-free, where allowable, be incorporated into the council's social value policy, and aims to ensure its supply chain is plastic free by 2026.

Councillor Alan Quinn, Bury Council's cabinet member for the environment, has welcomed the motion and is encouraging the council to take a lead on the issue.

He said: "Every report you get says that global warming, plastic and climate change are ruining the planet. We have got to start acting now and I think it is only right that we do something about this.

"Bury may be the smallest council in Greater Manchester but I think this is something we should be leading on."

Cllr Quinn added: "When we say plastic-free we are not going to get rid of everything made of plastic, but we are looking to get rid of plastic, bottles, straw, bags, essentially things there are alternatives for. And it's building on the work we are already doing."

The motion follows the opening of the borough's first plastic-free shop, Fulfilled, which opened in Ramsbottom in September.

Since 2011 the borough has also seen a significant increase in recycling with figures up from 27 per cent of waste to 60 per cent of waste in 2018.

Bury Council was also the first in England to debate the introduction of deposit return schemes.

The scheme's could see people paying a small upfront deposit when buying items such as drinks containers which are then refunded on return of the empty item.

Other variants include cash rewards for returning recyclables ­— often done through a network of "reverse vending machines" which return money for inserted plastic bottles or cans ­— and similar models already exist in countries including Denmark, Sweden and Germany.

Earlier this year such schemes were also taken up by the Government in their English Waste Strategy.

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Bury Council consists of six towns, Bury, Ramsbottom, Tottington, Radcliffe, Whitefield and Prestwich. Formed in April 1974 as a result of Local Government re-organisation it was one of the ten original districts that formed the County of Greater Manchester. The Borough has an area of 9,919 hectares (24,511 acres) and serves a population of 187,500.

Bury Council
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BL9 OSW Bury, Lancashire