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Spring Referenda 2019

Should the Student Union adopt a plastic-free policy initiative?

The motion has PASSED

596 students took part

9 abstained

  • YES - 557 (93%)

  • NO - 30 (5%)

The Students' Union WILL adopt a plastic-free policy initiative

 

Background:

Plastic is made from unsustainable materials which means that both it’s production and breakdown contribute to climate change. Not only this but because plastic is not biodegradable it releases toxic chemicals when it eventually does start to break down. These contaminate our food and water supplies and make us sick. As well as this, plastic is well known for killing wildlife and polluting our oceans. By 2050, plastic will outweigh the fish in our oceans. It is becoming more well known that recycling is no longer good enough when it comes to plastics. 66% of ‘recycled’ plastic in the UK is actually exported, with no assurance that this actually ends up being recycled. Other countries are not a dumping ground for our excessive plastic use! The best thing we can do is eliminate our use of unnecessary plastic and support eco-friendly companies promoting greener materials.

Background:

Plastic is made from unsustainable materials which means that both it’s production and breakdown contribute to climate change. Not only this but because plastic is not biodegradable it releases toxic chemicals when it eventually does start to break down. These contaminate our food and water supplies and make us sick. As well as this, plastic is well known for killing wildlife and polluting our oceans. By 2050, plastic will outweigh the fish in our oceans. It is becoming more well known that recycling is no longer good enough when it comes to plastics. 66% of ‘recycled’ plastic in the UK is actually exported, with no assurance that this actually ends up being recycled. Other countries are not a dumping ground for our excessive plastic use! The best thing we can do is eliminate our use of unnecessary plastic and support eco-friendly companies promoting greener materials.
 

Policy aim: To reduce and eventually eliminate single-use plastics across all SU outlets

Policy Objectives:

  • Eradicate single-use plastic cups and replace with sustainable alternative

  • To lobby the NUS to make a plastic-free alternative to bottled water available on their consortium that can be sold in the Union shop

  • To work with the Union Trading Company to establish a measurable plan to reduce the use of disposable coffee cups.

  • To work with the Union Trading Company to increase the range of zero waste products that we provide in the Union shop

  • Work with Pearl bubble tea to establish a measurable plan to reduce plastic usage

  • Commit to working with Plastic-free Sussex campaign to lobby Co-op and the University to reduce plastic usage

  • Create the position of a sustainability committee to work with SU outlets and review the success of these policy objectives