TRAFFORD council has begun to tackle the war on single-use plastic by starting to phase out its use within the town hall.

A motion put forward by Green Party councillor Geraldine Coggins stated that reducing the use of plastic would improve the environment and limit waste.

During the latest meeting she also called for the authority to develop a ‘robust’ strategy that would eliminate its use by 2020.

Cllr Coggins argued that the UK recycled just 40 per cent of plastic waste and that millions of tonnes ends up in the oceans each year.

Items such as plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, water bottles and most food packaging are generally used once then just thrown away.

Passing the motion, the council will now aim to phase out the town hall’s use of single-use straws and water bottles, along with other plastics, over the next two years.

“Residents have complained about the borough’s poor plastic recycling facilities – and issues about litter and fly tipping,” Cllr Coggins said.

“A vast majority of people want to move away from single use plastic, but it can be quite challenging when the system doesn’t support this.

"Action is needed so that when people use the borough’s public services they have an option to buy or use environmentally friendly materials.”

Labour’s Stephen Adshead, portfolio holder for environment, amended the motion and banned the use of plastic water cups during all council meetings.

However, Conservative councillor Daniel Bunting labelled the change as ‘weak-kneed’ – and the original motion ‘non-ambitious’.

Tory councillor Nathan Evans stated the council should show leadership by providing reusable cups.

Council leader Andrew Western said a report about eradicating the use of all ‘unnecessary’ plastic from the town hall would be tabled in the near future.

A Trafford Council spokesman said: “The Council is keen to lead by example, so a motion to reduce single use plastic in Trafford was approved by all parties at the Council meeting on Wednesday, July 25.

"A robust action plan will now be developed aimed at phasing out single use plastics in all Council activities within the next two years, and will form part of the Council’s Sustainability Strategy to benefit health and reduce waste in the borough.

"We will work with partners, other large institutions, and the public, to encourage them to switch to alternatives and, where relevant, develop similar strategies."