Open Letter to Portsmouth City Councillors - Plastic Free Portsmouth

Subject: Open Letter to Portsmouth City Councillors - Plastic Free Portsmouth
From: Local Organisations and Businesses
Date: 8 Feb 2018

Dear Councillors,

We are writing in support of the motion being put forward by Cllr Lee Hunt and Cllr Rob Wood on Tuesday 13th February entitled (11c) Notice of Motion – Reducing the use of single-use plastics in Portsmouth.

2018 has seen a major shift in attitudes towards single-use plastics (SUPs) and as the UK’s Premier Waterfront City it is important that the Council develops a robust strategy to tackle the related issues and leads by example.

We would also like to ask that the Council includes, as part of the motion, to work towards gaining Surfers Against Sewage’s Plastic Free City/Coastline status, so that the city can be recognised for the work that is being done in this area.

To do this, five objectives need to be met:
1. Local Governance - Local Council passes a resolution to support Plastic Free Coastlines, committing to plastic free alternatives and supporting plastic free initiatives within the constituency.
a. Council must lead by example to remove single-use plastic items from their premises.
b. Council to encourage plastic free initiatives, promoting the campaign and supporting events.
c. A representative of the council must be named on the Plastic Free Coastlines steering group (see objective 4).

2. Local Businesses - At least three single-use plastic items removed from 46 local businesses and retailers; replaced with sustainable alternatives.

3. Plastic Free Allies - This objective provides the opportunity to gain widespread community support for Plastic Free Coastlines, spreading the Plastic Free message. Targets are suggested and will be judged on an individual application basis. The more evidence provided of Plastic Free Coastlines being adopted by the local community, the increased effectiveness of Plastic Free Coastlines.

4. On the Ground Action (Plastic Free Allies) - At least two local community events arranged and made open for all to attend, in one calendar year.

5. Local Strategic Group – Form a local group of stakeholders to meet at least once per year to discuss the progress of Plastic Free Coastlines locally; agreeing and setting direction, meeting objectives, and completing application for official Plastic Free Coastlines status. For populations over 100,000 a flagship business employee must be a member of the group.

We are 100% behind this and will offer our support and help to ensure that this is a city wide initiative, and leverages the resources that we all have at our disposal. The city already has beach cleans; a ‘Your Bottle’ refill scheme; some of us are currently working with a number of local firms on their plastic use and sustainability aims; public events scheduled for later this year around reducing plastic; businesses interested in being involved in the steering group; and a large network of supporters.

Therefore, we request that the motion is passed with the following addition to meet the first requirement:

6. Support Plastic Free Coastlines with the aim of being recognised as a Plastic Free City by 2019; committing to plastic free alternatives; supporting plastic free initiatives within the constituency and providing a named representative from the council to sit on the Portsmouth Plastic Free Coastlines steering group.

We thank you for your due consideration.

Clare Seek on behalf of Portsmouth Green Drinks
Adam Sennitt, Portsmouth Rep for Surfers Against Sewage
Rachel Hudson on behalf of Portsmouth Friends of the Earth
Gail Baird, Project Coordinator Food Portsmouth
Zoe Morrall on behalf of Capturing Our Coast, University of Portsmouth
Delphine Laveyne on behalf of Zero Waste Portsmouth
The Revd Canon Peter Leonard on behalf of Portsmouth Cathedral (Cathedral of the Sea)
Sara & Martyn Knight, owners of Southsea Coffee Company

(If others would like to add their signatures, please comment below or email portsmouthgreendrinks (at) gmail.com )

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