Monmouthshire County Council is to contact local food takeaway businesses in a bid to reduce the use of polystyrene and single use plastics.  Meanwhile, children from Cantref Primary School have demonstrated their support for action taken by The Codfather in Abergavenny’s Frogmore Street, a local fish and chip takeaway.  The Codfather is leading the way in the county’s campaign to cut the use of such packaging.

 Owner Andrew Ewers said: “From the beginning, my wife and I have always made sure that we do our best to recycle as much as possible.  And now we have switched to cardboard chip trays and wooden forks instead of polystyrene and plastic.  Wherever possible, we are looking to use less of the stuff that can’t be recycled, both in the Codfather and Frydays – our shop on Underhill Crescent.

 “We have very loyal customers and the response from them has been overwhelmingly positive.

 “We are very proud of the fish that we sell in our shops but the fish on which we depend can only thrive in plastic-free oceans – that’s why we are keen to play our part in this initiative.  It’s good for business and good for the planet!”

 One of the reasons Cantref Primary School, led by its eco-committee, achieved the Eco-Schools Platinum Green Flag was its passionate and pro-active support for reducing the school’s environmental impact and helping the wider community.  Some of the pupils visited The Codfather recently to give their seal of approval to the actions taken by Mr Ewers, offering him their full support.

 Taxpayers in Wales in spend around £8 million a year clearing up litter.  In addition, an army of dedicated volunteers works tirelessly throughout the county to keep communities litter-free.  Despite this, fast food litter is more noticeable in Monmouthshire’s villages, towns and on countryside roads than ever before.

 Councillor Bryan Jones, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member for Waste and Recycling said: “We have all become more aware of the problems of single use plastics and polystyrene, particularly the devastating effect it has on our oceans, shown graphically in programmes like Blue Planet.  Sadly, much of this plastic pollution comes from the land.  Litter is all too often blown into grass verges and hedgerows, then into streams and rivers that flow out to sea.

 “Thanks to its residents, Monmouthshire has been at the top of the recycling league table.  Now it’s time though to turn our attention to the epidemic of non-recyclable single use plastic and polystyrene litter blighting our beautiful landscape.

 “We recognise that we cannot do this alone so we are asking our business community to take up the challenge.  Many of our hardworking food businesses such as the Codfather in Abergavenny have already made the change from polystyrene trays to cardboard trays and we applaud their initiative.”

 Carl Touhig, Interim Head of Waste said: “Over the coming months we will write to all food take-away outlets, asking them to consider reducing their amount of plastic and polystyrene packaging.”

 “Councils continue to be under enormous financial pressure to deliver services for our residents.  It’s far better that our limited resources are spent on education and social care than picking up the cost of unnecessary roadside litter and non-recyclable packaging waste.

 “From our conversations with residents and local community groups, we know that this issue is very close to their hearts and we are confident that Monmouthshire’s businesses will take up the challenge to reduce, re-use and recycle.”

 For further information on waste and recycling contact the council’s Education And Awareness Officer Rebecca Blount – RebeccaBlount@monmouthshire.gov.uk – or 01633 644126.