BROMSGROVE District Council has pledged to stop using single-use non-recyclable plastics altogether within 18 months.

Motions from Labour councillor Peter MacDonald and Conservative Malcolm Glass to introduce a strategy to combat plastic waste were combined and passed unanimously at a full council meeting on February 21.

The council also vowed to take actions to encourage the recycling of single-use coffee cups in Bromsgrove town centre.

Cllr Glass said: "There is a huge national issue regarding the disposal and recycling of take away hot beverage cups and plastic bottles.

"Nationally seven million coffee cups are used every day, and because they are cardboard lined with plastic, they cannot be recycled in the normal way. Only one per cent are recycled.

"At present, almost all single-use coffee cups discarded in Bromsgrove will go to landfill.

"We are lucky to have a thriving town centre with dozens of cafes and businesses selling takeaway coffee, and are perfectly placed to send a powerful signal to nearby town centres by taking action on such a dramatic, visible example of waste."

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The strategy will start with council staff - banning plastic cups, bottles and straws - before being rolled out to all council-owned premises.

Cllr McDonald added: "We're hoping in the near future to extend this to any events held in Sanders Park, but this may be a legal debate that needs to be explored further.

"It should be a simple thing to do. Everyone I've spoken to is very supportive of the scheme.

"Everyone knows the damage being created to sealife - by 2050, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish - and have come to accept that we can't stand by and do nothing.

"We need to think of our grandchildren and future generations."