Aberdeen ,

Plastic straws could be banned by Aberdeen City Council

Members of Aberdeen City Council today (Monday 05 March) considered the Final Straw campaign, which aims to achieve the banning of plastic drinking straws in Scotland.

Members agreed that the Council’s Commercial and Procurement Service should carry out an audit across all council services to identify all outlets where plastic drinking straws are made available for consuming drinks.

This review will include the Council’s Arm’s Length External Organisations (ALEOs) in so far as the Council’s contractual and governance relationships with its ALEOs will allow it to do so.

The Commercial and Procurement Service is also instructed to work with Scotland Excel and the supply chain to source products which either require no drinking straw or with bio-degradable drinking straws where they are necessary.

The instruction was also given to remove plastic straws from points of sale and from drinks provided as part of school meals, where this is easily immediately achievable.

The Head of Commercial and Procurement Services will also consult with the Disability Equity Partnership and relevant officers from the Aberdeen Health & Social Care Partnership to ensure that no disabled person is disadvantaged by any proposals brought forward to implement the recommendations in this report. This followed concerns which have been raised by disability advocacy groups that some disabled people require a fully flexible drinking straw and many easily available non-plastic alternatives are not suitable.

An update report will go back to Full Council which will also recommend to the Council whether or not Council can commit to backing the Final Straw campaign.

Councillor Philip Bell, Convener of Zero Waste Management Sub Committee, Aberdeen City Council, said: “The extent of use of plastic drinking straws is at this stage unknown and an audit across services will determine current usage. The findings of this audit will inform the steps we as an organisation needs to take as we aim to move towards becoming plastic straw free.”

In late 2017, the BBC screened the Blue Planet 2, which focused on the ecological damage which is being caused to the planet from plastics which were finding their way into watercourses and ultimately polluting our beaches, seas and oceans highlighting the impact that this issue is having on our marine life.

In January 2018 Kate Forbes MSP wrote to Angela Scott, Chief Executive, Aberdeen City Council, to bring the ‘The Final Straw’ campaign to her attention, to advise that an online petition had been launched calling on businesses and organisations to ban plastic straws and to ask Aberdeen City Council would commit to being plastic straw free.