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Crackdown on single-use plastics launched by County Council

A plan to eliminate single-use plastics and avoid unnecessary plastic waste has been launched by West Sussex County Council.

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The council will carry out a full audit of all the plastic it uses across its buildings and set targets for reduction as part of a Plastics Action Plan published yesterday (Tuesday 28 May).

The council has made a commitment to find alternatives to plastic wherever possible and to use recycled plastic when it isn’t. The council will also ensure that where possible, plastic items they do use can be reused or recycled.

Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said:

“The environmental impact of single-use plastics is undeniable and thanks to programmes such as Blue Planet we have seen a growing movement to reduce our reliance on plastics and seek alternatives.

“We are recycling more than ever – with 7,000 tonnes of plastic sent to be recycled in West Sussex last year. However, many single-use plastic items can’t be recycled or are simply thrown away.

“We want to lead by example and ensure we are working towards eliminating single-use and unnecessary plastics wherever possible for our staff, residents, and businesses.”

The publication of the Plastics Action Plan comes as the County Council is about to launch a major new campaign to encourage people to pledge their support to reduce the impact of climate change. The West Sussex Climate Pledge will launch on World Environment Day on 5 June.

Part of the West Sussex Climate Pledge campaign will involve encouraging people to #PassOnPlastic.

The County Council is already supporting the national Refill campaign to encourage people to use a reusable bottle and fill up with tap water. There are four publically accessible Refill points in County Council buildings.

The County Council has also taken steps to improve recycling for staff, and has replaced plastic cutlery and takeaway containers in its main canteen with items made from wood, metal, paper or card.

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Girls and women across Crawley asked for help to tackle violence and abuse

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The views of women and girls across Crawley are being sought to help shape Government strategy to tackle violence and abuse.

The Government is updating the Violence Against Women and Girls strategy and has launched a nationwide Call for Evidence in order to ensure that those who have lived experiences of abuse and violence, and the views of members of the public, are at the heart of plans to stop these harmful crimes. The Call to Evidence runs until 19th February 2021.

The Government has already taken a number of important steps in this area, including strengthening the law on crimes such as stalking, forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), but there is more to do.

There have already been many responses, shining a sobering light on the prevalence of gender-based violence in our society. This information is also absolutely invaluable in shaping the most effective policy to fight the scourge of Violence Against Women and Girls.

Crawley MP Henry Smith is urging those who have experiences or views to come forward in the final few weeks of the Government’s Call for Evidence, and to take part in the anonymous survey.

This not only includes frontline professionals and academics, victims and survivors, but their families and friends and members of the public in Crawley who have been indirectly affected.

You can participate in the call for evidence by completing the public survey.

Henry said;

“I know it takes a lot of courage for those who have experienced violence and abuse to come forward, but this information is vital in tackling acts of gender-based violence.

“Our strategy needs to reflect the views and experiences of those who have been directly and indirectly affected, in order to stop these harmful and often hidden crimes happening in our society.

“Crimes that disproportionately affect women and girls range from rape and FGM to upskirting and online offences; they can have terrible effects on victims. We want to do all we can to tackle these appalling crimes, through a new strategy to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls.

“With one month to go until the Call for Evidence closes, let’s create a strategy to tackle crimes against women and girls in the 21st century.”

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