Ban plastic now! (1516P20)

Status: Active | Zone: Sustainability

Passed: 01/08/2016 | Lapses: 01/07/2018

This policy was discussed at the following meetings:

  • 1.       There is a potential harm caused to humans via contact with BPA in many plastic packaging (NHS Choices 2010).
    2.       Over 70% of marine plastic comes from land, especially coastal areas such as Southampton (Devriese 2015).
    3.       Plastic waste is being ingested by large marine mammals such as the thirteen sperm whales recently found stranded off the coast of Germany full of plastic, as well as zooplankton and all the way up the food web (Cole 2013; Hoare 2016).
    4.       The ingestion of microplastics (bits of plastic broken up by erosion but take a long time to completely be removed from the environment) by primary consumers may have the potential to put whole marine ecosystems at risk, having repercussions on ingestion of carbon biomass, decline in fecundity and sexual development (Cole 2013; Cole 2015; Lee 2013).  
  • 1.       The Ethics and Environment Policy (1314P26) is not strong enough as a stand-alone policy and plastic waste requires a policy in its own right.
    2.       A students’ union at a university that pushes the barriers of science should be able to come up with a perfectly reasonable solution to removing plastic from all supply chains for a 21st century approach to waste management
    3.       We as a community have the compassion, determination and ability to define a more sustainable path.
    4.       Banning plastic has the potential to put the Students’ Union on the map for changing the way things are done - not just for us, but for future students community and other species we share this planet with - in other words a TRULY SUSTAINABLE Union. 
  • 1.       To ban all plastic bags at the Monday market with a replacement of cotton bags or other sustainable alternatives by the end of 2016/17 academic year.
    2.       Ban all mixed plastic-cardboard tea/coffee cups, plastic straws, plastic cutlery, polystyrene packaging (and other unnecessary plastic) from all Union outlets and lobby the University to also stop using those items by the end of 2016/17 academic year.
    3.       To phase out all plastic packaging within the university by working with suppliers to use alternatives within the next three years (as the policy lasts for a minimum of three years) including sandwich and snack wrappers, drinks bottles and more. 
  • 1.       The banning of all plastic, especially non-recyclable plastic by the end of the next academic year.
    2.       Working with students, staff (including all academic and non-academic staff), the Union’s suppliers and the University’s suppliers for an integrated approach.
    3.       The Sustainability Zone Officer and Ethics and Environment Officer set up a working group and ensure that this policy is fulfilled and implement an action plan to ensure this.