Green councillor’s dismay at reusable bottle scheme proposal

A councillor said it was “disappointing” that the local authority was planning to support a Yorkshire Water campaign to encourage people to use reusable bottles when a York-based initiative already exists.

John McGall runs I Am Reusable, which works with more than 70 businesses in the city and sells reusable cups and bottles as well as collecting clothes, food and toiletries for the homeless.

Green Cllr Andy D’Agorne, speaking at a council meeting, said it was “particularly disappointing” that the council failed to acknowledge the initiative as part of its plans to encourage people to drink more water from reusable bottles.

John McGall runs I Am Reusable in York

Cllr D’Agorne said: “The overall idea of joining a countywide initiative that has already been launched elsewhere in places like Huddersfield, Selby and Sheffield makes sense for a tourist city like York.

“However this paper fails to acknowledge our own home grown York-based I Am Reusable initiative, which if not properly addressed could be undermined by this proposal.”

Work in partnership

The council’s director of public health, Sharon Stoltz, said: “The aim is to work in partnership with those schemes that already exist.

“We would like to run a campaign to raise awareness and promote use of those existing schemes.”

She added the aim is to improve people’s health by encouraging them to drink more water and to reduce single-use plastics.

Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for environment, changed the recommendation to support both the Yorkshire on Tap and the I Am Reusable initiatives.

He said: “We are all after the same objective and I hope we will be able to work together.”