BRADFORD Council should commit to becoming a “plastic free organisation” within the next five years - according to a new review.

The newly published Single Use Plastics Scrutiny Review makes a number of suggestions, including replacing the plastic bags that line Bradford’s bins to be replaced with biodegradable sacks and working with supermarkets to introduce more plastic bottle recycling points.

For the past year a group of councillors have been meeting with businesses, environmental groups, schools and other organisations to investigate how the district could become environmentally friendly and cut down on the amount of plastic is uses.

The group has now released its report, which could shape Council policies for the coming years.

And one of the main suggestions is that the Council aims to be “plastic free” by 2024.

Bradford Council appeals for recycling champions

As part of their research, the group looked at work being done in Newby Primary School. The school has been praised for its environmental work, greatly reducing the amount of waste it sends to landfill and educating children about the benefits of recycling.

The review also points to the work being done by groups such as Plastic Free Bingley, which aims to achieve plastic free status for the town.

Their work includes setting up recycling bins in the town centre for items that Bradford Council cannot recycle and arranging public awareness events on single use plastics.

There are 14 recommendations in the plan. One is for the introduction of water stations at Bradford Council run events such as this past weekend’s Bradford 10k.

The review says hundreds of plastic water bottles are used and left at these events, and water stations could make a huge change to the amount of plastic waste.

The Council’s Parks service told the review that plastics sacks are used inside park bins, with some of these bins being emptied between one to three times a week. It meant the service could go through hundreds of sacks a week.

Bio-degradable sacks could be used instead - according to the review.

Another suggestion is that the authority pressures its suppliers to move away from single use plastics in packaging - for items ranging from office supplies to school meals.

Staff with a “purchasing role” in the Council should be given training to avoid purchasing plastic products.

The review says; “In order for Bradford Council to move towards becoming a plastic free organisation, a multi-faceted approach will be required.

“This begins from stopping the use of plastic cups, plates and cutlery at Councils meetings and events, to further educating Council staff about reducing the use of plastics and how they can be reduced; examining the products that the Council purchases and its packaging; and to provide improved recycling offers to schools and business. However, where this is not possible, alternatives to the use of Single Use Plastics need to be explored.”

The review will be discussed by the Council’s Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee at a meeting in City Hall at 5.30pm on Tuesday.