A MERSEYSIDE council has launched a tough new plan for dealing with single use plastics (SUPs) in the hope of having cut them out completely in two years’ time.

Wirral Council has announced its intention of becoming SUP-free across its services, and will now develop a “robust strategy” to ensure it phases them out, as well as work with partners such as the local NHS to help them develop a similar strategy.

The policy, approved this week, is also aimed at informing people in Wirral about SUPs, as well as encouraging them to switch to alternatives.

The SUP Free Wirral Policy, approved by cabinet member Cllr Anita Leech, says: “Council notes that, in the UK, some 2.2m tonnes of plastic packaging is consumed annually. According to recent research, 8m tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the world’s oceans each year, endangering marine life and entering the food chain. In addition, there is a growing understanding of the risks posed to human health by toxic chemicals present in plastics.

“Council believes that the reduction of SUP would benefit health in Wirral and reduce waste.”

The council will now develop a communications and public awareness campaign, work with local groups to map out plastic accumulations, and with supermarkets to achieve a reduction of drinking bottles and provision of free drinking water.

Cllr Leech will also write to the government requesting that reduction of SUPs form part of any future national waste management strategy.