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Sign up to our single use plastics pledge


Sign up to our pledge and commit to reducing, and ultimately removing, your single use plastic waste. You can pledge to do as much or as little as you can.

Sign up to our award winning single use plastics pledge

Join our network and Sign up to our single use plastics pledge today to tell us how you are planning to reduce your plastic waste.

What single use plastic is and why it is a problem

Single use plastics are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items are things like plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, water bottles and most food packaging.

It is thought that more than five trillion pieces of plastic are in the world's oceans and it can take years for it to break down. Most of it isn't biodegradable, it doesn't rot like paper or food and so it can hang around in the environment for hundreds of years. 

What happens to your plastic

Find out what happens to your plastic on our What happens to your recycling page.

How you can reduce your use of single use plastics

There are all sorts of things you can choose to do your bit such as:

  • carry a shopping bag instead of buying a plastic bag
  • carry a reusable bottle - download Refill app to find out where you can refill your bottle 
  • take a reusable coffee cup - some cafes and shops even offer a small discount if you use your own cup
  • say no to plastic straws
  • avoid excessive food packaging
  • say no to disposable cutlery
  • pack your lunch in reusable containers
  • get your milk delivered - you can find your nearest delivery on Find Me A Milkman
  • avoid using microbeads which are mainly found in exfoliating face and body scrubs, shower gels, toothpastes 

What businesses can do to reduce use of single use plastics

  • promote staff awareness days
  • encourage staff to bring reusable water bottles and lunchboxes into the workplace
  • carry out an internal audit and seek alternatives to single use plastics where possible
  • work with your procurement team to encourage your suppliers to reduce single use plastics

 What community groups can do to reduce use of single use plastics

  • help us spread the word, encourage others to sign up to the County Durham Single Use Plastics Pledge!
  • lead by example, encourage others to get rid of single use plastics such as straws, coffee stirrers, plastic cups

What schools can do to reduce use of single use plastics

Sign up to our network. Take a lead from St Bede's RC Primary School, Sacriston and find out what they've been doing: School promises to eliminate single use plastics.

Organisations who have already signed up to our single use plastics pledge

  • Northumbrian Water
  • St Bede's RC Primary School
  • Durham University
  • Durham Constabulary
  • Beamish Museum
  • The Environment Agency 
  • Durham Heritage Coast Partnership
  • County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service
  • Durham BID
  • County Durham Housing Group 
  • OASES
  • Durham Community Action
  • The North East England Nature Partnership

If you want further advice or information about how to reduce your use of single use plastics contact us.

In October our pledge scooped the national LARAC award for Best Waste Minimisation and Prevention project. 

Find out what our Overview and Scrutiny Committe said about our pledge.

Contact us
Waste Management
03000 26 1000
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UQ
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