Shropshire Council’s method of collecting plastic waste and the way it leaves plastic scattered all over the countryside has raised the ire of residents in the west of the county.

Heather said:

” Following on from the recent outcry in the media over plastic in the oceans following Blue Planet 2, a number of colleagues and I have received a growing number of complaints about the way that Shropshire Council collects plastic waste for recycling. Other councils provide some form of cover for the plastic box (either a lid or a net as in Powys) to prevent plastic items blowing away but not Shropshire. If you have and sort of breeze on collection day it results is plastic being blown all over the place.
“I’ve had a number of complaints from across my Division and I know my colleague Cllr Roger Evans, Councillor for Hanwood Division has had more. Residents in places on hillsides like Snailbeach have been particularly affected given the stronger winds experienced up there. This is then NOT recycling it is littering our countryside.
“I have spoken to Shropshire Council and asked about the costs of providing residents with lids or nets and also the costs of clearing up the plastic blown all over the Countryside. The only response I have received so far is the suggestion that residents place glass in the top box to weigh the plastic down!
“This isn’t good enough. Surely it makes far more financial and environmental sense to provide residents with inexpensive box covers to avert this mess where it is needed. We know that hedgehogs are declining in numbers and plastics can take a role in their reduction. Other mammals can be seriously effected too.*
*See article below link. Shropshire Council is adding to this waste in the countryside.
Heather has written to Council Officers asking what the costs of providing lids would be and what the costs of litter clearing the plastic from our roadsides. She will be taking the matter to the Councils’s Scrutiny panel.
In the meantime she is urging residents to write to the Council Cabinet Portfolio holder – Cllr Stephen Charmley to complain about this state of affairs.
Link from Science daily.
Over 400 million tons of plastic are produced globally each year. It is estimated that one third of all plastic waste ends up in soils or freshwaters. Most of this plastic disintegrates into particles smaller than five millimetres, referred to as microplastics, and breaks down further into nanoparticles, which are less than 0.1 micrometre in size. In fact, terrestrial microplastic pollution is much higher than marine microplastic pollution — an estimate of four to 23 times more, depending on the environment. Sewage, for example, is an important factor in the distribution of microplastics. In fact, 80 to 90 per cent of the particles contained in sewage, such as from garment fibres, persist in the sludge. Sewage sludge is then often applied to fields as fertilizer, meaning that several thousand tons of microplastics end up in our soils each year.

Did you know in the UK 35 million plastic bottles are discarded everyday?