Fife Council and its arms-length cultural and leisure trusts are taking action to cut down on single-use plastics.
The local authority, ONFife Cultural Trust and the Fife Sports and Leisure Trust have joined forces for the ‘Cut it Out’ campaign which aims to minimise the use of plastic from buildings and activities, even if the item can be recycled afterwards.
The council and Fife Sports and Leisure Trust are cutting single use plastic cups and most cable ties, while ONFife is reducing its use of single-use plastic cups, switching to recyclable cups and cutting most cable ties later in the year.
Prior to the start of the campaign, 150,000 plastic cups and 18,000 plastic straws were used by the council every year but the hope is that the drive will eliminate the 1.46 million items of plastic cutlery used each year.
SNP Councillor Ross Vettraino, Fife Council’s convener of the environment and protective services committee, said: “We are now more aware than ever of the impact that plastics have on our environment and Fife Council is committed to leading by example to reduce its own use of single-use plastics.
“The council is pleased that its partners, employees and customers are joining with it on the journey to eliminate them and is urging other organisations in Fife to look at their own use of plastics and identify what they, too, can cut out.”
The project is being managed by Resource Efficient Solutions, Fife Council’s arms-length company.
The authority initially agreed to phase out the removal of single-use plastics in August 2018 and it has successfully already cut plastic cups, teaspoons and straws from its main buildings and plastic teaspoons from schools.
Some single plastics will still be used where there is an exceptional need, such as a legal, medical or health and safety requirement.
However, Scott Urquhart, sport and physical activity team manager from Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, said: “We are enthusiastic to cut down on single-use plastics used in our leisure centres and offices.
“Our cafes and vending machines will all be free from single-use plastic cups, cutlery and straws, cutting down on our environmental footprint.”
And Judy Rae, head of business development from ONFife, added: “We have seen a growth in the amount of single use plastics in our culture that needs to be tackled.
“Cutting down on our own single use plastics sets the right example and improves our organisation.”