SOUTH Gloucestershire Council have taken a step towards being plastic free after voting to stop using disposable cups on any of their sites.

The motion, proposed by Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Claire Young at the council's annual general meeting on Wednesday, May 16, also called on council officers to bring a report to a cabinet meeting outlining how this decision could be implemented for agreement as soon as possible.

Cllr Young said: “I’m delighted that our idea has received support across the Council. South Gloucestershire is now among the first local authorities in the country to take the radical step of banning the use of disposable cups at its offices.

“This will save around 36,000 non-recyclable cups being thrown-away each year and I’m extremely pleased the Lib Dems have been able to provide leadership to the council on this important environmental issue.”

In March it was reported in the Independent that disposable coffee cup use is set to increase by a third, with general plastics to rise by 20 per cent, amid news that the United Kingdom is among the biggest consumers of cotton buds, wet wipes, and single-use straws, something branded by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond as ‘the scourge of plastic’.

The motion was unanimously supported by the three parties on the council following an amendment by the ruling conservatives, leaving the commitment more open-ended, something the motion’s seconder, Cllr Mike Drew said was “disappointing”.

“It should be possible for a well-run local authority to make this change in that timeframe,” he said. “We will now hold the administration to account to ensure that they don’t drag their heels in carrying this change out.”

But the council’s newly elected leader, Cllr Toby Savage responded by saying the original motion submitted by the Liberal Democrat group “didn’t go far enough in making the important decisions” needed to “step up and take responsibility for the council’s impact on the environment and doing what we can to reduce that”.

He added: “We were pleased to strengthen the motion and we want to do more.”