Council urged to make Northampton carbon neutral and ban single-use plastic at schools

The council will look at how Northampton can become more environmentally friendly
The council will look at how Northampton can become more environmentally friendly

Calls to make Northampton carbon neutral and ban single-use plastics at schools will be debated by councillors as part of a discussion over a ‘green revolution’ in the town.

Recent protests in London have brought the environment and global warming back into the spotlight, and councillors in Northampton from all three parties seem to want to build on that momentum locally.

Liberal Democrat leader Sally Beardsworth has put forward a motion calling on Northampton Borough Council to target the town becoming ‘carbon neutral’ – balancing carbon dioxide emissions – by 2030. It states that the council should declare a ‘climate emergency’.

The motion states: “This council recognises the strength of public opinion recently expressed in London and Northampton to address the issue of climate change and the need to address carbon reduction to protect the health and wellbeing of future generations.”

Should councillors back the motion, it would see a report submitted to the council in 12 months’ time and updated in January 2021 setting out what action has been taken.

Councillors will also hear a motion from Labour councillor Paul Joyce that calls for a ban on single-use plastics within school environments. It is being seconded by Conservative leader of the council Jonathan Nunn, indicating it is likely to receive cross-party support.

The motion reads: “All parties within this council acknowledge the urgency of dealing with climate change. We need cross-party agreement to develop strategies for a greener, more sustainable society in Northampton. A green revolution is required.

“Schools across Northampton produce a huge amount of plastic waste each week. Northampton schools would benefit from educating their students on eco issues through school schemes, where programs could be set up in order to teach students how to stay green in lessons, such as personal, social, health and economic education or by holding educational assemblies with influential speakers.”

Councillor Joyce also calls on the borough council to support and work closely with schemes operated by companies like TerraCycle, who turn hard-to-recycle plastics such as crisp packets and wrappers into outdoor furniture.

He also echoes the call to declare a ‘climate emergency’.

The motions will be discussed at the next full council meeting on Monday June 3.