The authority’s cabinet approved the plan at a meeting which also heard that a separate “challenging target” would be introduced to bring about an 85 percent reduction in their use within the next 18 months.
“I don’t think there is any councillor who doesn’t understand the damage that single-use plastics are causing to our oceans – it’s horrendous,” Labour council leader Paul Foster said.
“You may ask what difference the council can make – but if we start here, with our local authority friends and supply chain partners, then we will make a real difference.”
M6, M61 and M55 delays in Preston due to Blackpool Air Show and Lake District holiday traffic
Thunderstorms and heavy downpours of rain predicted to hit Lancashire as Met Office issues yellow weather warning
Two Preston men arrested after serious assault near Harris Museum
Man killed in late night crash on A6 Chorley Road near Blackrod
Lanes reopen after car crash on M6 brings Preston motorway traffic to a halt with severe delays expected
An internal audit of the volume and types of plastic which the authority is currently using will be completed by next June.
Conservative member Alan Ogilvie said that it would be vital to accurately establish the current position “so that the scheme has credibility”.
The council’s suppliers will be told that they have to remove single-use plastics from any work done on behalf of the council.
But the report also warns also warns of the potential for unintended consequences of switching to alternatives – and the need to consider the whole life cycle of products.
Members heard that compostable cups, while seemingly preferable to plastic variants, are only more environmentally friendly if they are allowed to break down properly and do not end up in landfill. Similarly, cotton bags have to be used more than 170 times before they will have had less impact on the environment than a plastic one.
Conservative former cabinet member Phil Smith wondered what kind of person would throw plastic into rivers and seas.
“I can’t imagine anybody in South Ribble would do that,” Cllr Smith said.
But Liberal Democrat leader David Howarth said that an annual river clean up in Penwortham yielded huge numbers of plastic bottles.
The measures to tackle single-use plastic are amongst the first to be taken since the council declared a climate emergency in July and pledged to make the borough carbon neutral within the next decade. A cross-party working group on climate change will oversee how the single-use plastic target is implemented and monitor progress.