A SUGGESTION that the county council stops using single-use throwaway coffee cups in its buildings may be rejected.

But only because its caterers have already made the move to compostable containers.

At the council’s full meeting in February the cabinet was asked to ‘cease use of single-use plastic water cups, and replace them with washable, re-useable alternatives and to request caterers to replace all non-recyclable hot drinks cups for environmentally-friendly alternatives.”

A report to the cabinet ahead of its meeting on Thursday says: “Members will be aware that, following the BBC Blue Planet II series highlighting the global problem of plastic pollution, there is a high level of public interest, both nationally and locally, in reducing the use of single use plastics (SUP).”

The report says that significant action has already been taken.

Disposable cutlery and containers for all food made on site at County Hall and Wild Wood is now compostable.

No straws are provided, and soft drinks are sold in cans and glass bottles only. Customers using reusable cups are given a discount,

Very soon, the disposable coffee cups used at County Hall will be replaced by compostable ones, and coffee will cost 25p more if the customer uses a disposable cup. At the moment, 100,000 single-use coffee cups are thrown away every year at County Hall.

The report says that taking further measures should also come with a financial benefit – “The increased use of reusable rather than disposable items will reduce the amount of waste produced."

This should reduce the cost of waste disposal at county council premises, it's claimed.

In the case of catering at cafes, hosted in council buildings, any extra cost of using compostable ‘vegware’, instead of single use plastic, will be passed on to the customer.

While compostable cups cost a third more than single-use, as more people should use re-useable ones, the council expects to need fewer disposable cups leading to savings.

The councillors who put forward the motion; Liberal Democrats Liz Tucker, Fran Oborski, John Raine and Green Matt Jenkins, will be invited to the meeting, at 10am tomorrow.