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Fighting to recycle plastics

Campaigners are fighting to get the city to recycle more plastics after the district council confirmed the county can recycle coffee cups.


Since Sir David Attenborough delivered a powerful call to everyone to do more to protect the environment in the final episode of the popular BBC series, campaigners across the country have been hard at work.


As Waste Week (March 5-9) came to a close, everyone in West Sussex has been encouraged to reduce the amount of ‘single-use’ plastics they use.


The county council has been challenging everyone to #PassOnPlastic and find an alternative for at least one plastic item they would usually use just once and then throw away.


County council cabinet member for the environment, Deborah Urquhart, said: “In West Sussex we’re fortunate enough to be able to recycle lots of different types of plastics – such as bottles, pots, tubs, and trays – at home through our kerbside recycling bins.


“We want to encourage people to look for alternatives where possible so we can reduce the amount of non-recyclable plastics which end up in landfill or our oceans and rivers.”


Resident Kay Mawer runs Clothkits, a kit clothing shop in the Hornet, and is in the throes of opening a vegan cafe within the building.


Kay said: “It was my 40-something birthday in February, and in advance of it I had thought that I really wanted to spend the day doing something, well worthwhile.


“I got in contact with my local Waitrose a couple of weeks prior to ask them if I could spend my birthday with them giving out free compostable cups to those customers who would like them as a ‘gift of green’.


“Waitrose declined my offer a few days later stating that they did not believe that compostable cups were a sustainable solution.


“So on my birthday I dressed as a whale and with two friends went on a little campaign trail around the city of Chichester, ending up in Waitrose.


“We created a petition for people to join – we had so much support and people were very enthusiastic about it while we were out and about.


“I chose Waitrose initially because I like them, and shop there and I would like to support them more enthusiastically so I have been really trying to go for this in a non aggressive manner trying to chivvy them along the right track.


“I also know that their founder was a naturalist. I also believe that if we can get them to change, then they could be a great leader in this issue.”


Chichester District Council has confirmed that coffee cups can be recycled.


A spokesman said: “Paper cups and paper takeaway coffee cups can be placed in your recycling bin. Please make sure no liquid remains in these cups. The plastic lids can also be recycled. No straws please.”


Kay continued: “On investigating our local facilities subsequently I discovered that our district can recycle coffee cups, which is such a great thing.


“I spoke with the local contractor, Viridor, and was advised that the cups need to be rinsed, and patted dry with kitchen paper, and then popped into a container.


“We are going to put that into practice in our ‘own backyard’ so to speak.


“I have also been approached by The Final Straw (Solent) and have agreed to join their project for the Chichester area. They initially have been busy in Emsworth and now want to expand their area to cover the Solent.


“They are building momentum to make their area plastic straw free and have got amazing support.


“While the initiative starts with a straw it extends to plastic bags and other single-use plastic items.”


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