Pass on plastic

Join us on our mission to reduce the use of plastic in Richmond upon Thames.

Help us make a difference

We all need to play our part. Do you know which types of plastic you can recycle?

Find out now

Why this matters

In the UK we use:

  • More than 13 billion plastic bottles a year, of which only 57% are recycled
  • 2.5 billion disposable cups, with less than 0.25% recycled
  • 2.3 million tonnes of plastic packaging, with only 45% recycled
  • 1 million straws each day in London alone

If this trend continues some 12 billion tonnes of plastic will be in landfill or the natural environment polluting our rivers and oceans by 2050.

Different kinds of plastic can degrade at different times, but the average time for a plastic bottle to completely degrade is at least 450 years. It can even take some bottles 1000 years to biodegrade!

What we are doing

We have committed to becoming a leader in reducing the use of plastics. 

We made this promise in a Council motion at our meeting on 23 January 2018 (item 13a).

Over the next few months, we will work with residents, businesses, partners, schools, local groups and associations across the borough to cut back on the use of plastic, increase the re-use of plastics and, where possible, improve arrangements for the disposal and recycling of plastics.

Inside the Council

In leading by example, we will progress initiatives which will encourage and allow staff and Councillors to become more responsible in their use of plastics. Some of these initiatives will include switching from disposable plastic bottles to reusable bottles and cups, and we are asking businesses in the borough to do the same.

Improving our services

We will support Government and industry initiatives to reduce plastic waste including a bottle deposit scheme.

What others are doing

A number of local businesses have already made changes to ensure they are ‘passing’ on plastic. See the below for some case studies videos:

How you can help

Small changes can make a big difference:

  1. Think before you buy - avoid purchasing items with excess plastic packaging and single use plastic products, particularly those that cannot easily be recycled such as cups, straws or plates. Buy reusable items such as coffee mugs and water bottles. Get tips on living with less plastic.
  2. Where possible, recycle any plastics rather than throwing them in the waste.

Follow our progress

Find out more about what we are doing:

Plastic bottles

Updated: 15 May 2018