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Council wins award for innovative approach to tackling single-use plastic

Date: 13 Sep 2023

Chair of People and Communities Committee, Councillor Micky Murray accepting award from Chris Gourley from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful

Belfast City Council has been recognised by environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful for its free reusable period products initiative.

The council won the Behaviour Change Award for its ‘impactful and pioneering’ pilot project which tackles single-use plastic.

The award category was open to all Northern Ireland councils to recognise commitment to changing behaviours and habits related to single-use plastic consumption.

Chair of People and Communities Committee, Councillor Micky Murray said: “Introducing small positive changes to all aspects of our everyday lives with a focus on tackling environmental issues can have such a positive impact. The amount of plastic within single use period products is staggering. This pilot project is such unique way of addressing an issue that I’m confident not many people knew about. Encouraging the use of reusable, non-plastic period products is helping provide a long-term solution to dealing with plastic contaminating our general waste.

“It’s fantastic to see Belfast City Council recognised for implementing this scheme and leading from the front to normalise the use of reusable period products. I want to congratulate all of our staff for their efforts in making the scheme such a wonderful success.”

Chris Gourley, Waste and Pollutions Solutions Strategic Lead at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said: “The judges for this award were thoroughly impressed by the efficiency and thoughtfulness of this project, which not only tackles plastic waste but also addresses the pressing issue of period poverty. The project not only demonstrates concern for the environment but also showcases the council’s commitment to promoting inclusivity and sustainability within the community. By offering free reusable period products, the council have provided a practical solution to reduce single-use plastic waste, helped to break down stigmas, and ensured that all individuals have access to essential products without compromising the environment.

“This project serves as a model for other councils in Northern Ireland facing similar challenges, inspiring them to adopt sustainable practices and behavioural changes. Well done Belfast City Council”.

Plastic pollution is a global concern that poses severe threats to ecosystems, marine wildlife, and human health. By implementing innovative solutions like providing free reusable period products, councils can actively contribute to the reduction of plastic waste and create a cleaner, healthier environment for generations to come.

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