A COUNTY council’s catering service will look to reduce its plastic footprint, civic chiefs have said.

HC3S will “work with its key suppliers to find alternatives”, cabinet member Councillor Mel Kendal has promised.

It comes after Baddesley member Councillor Alan Dowden asked Hampshire County Council chiefs why non-recyclable plastics are still being used in county schools.

At Full Council meeting, he said: “Would the leader of the county council, Councillor Roy Perry, explain to the members of the Full Council why we allow Hampshire Catering Services (HC3S) to provide, in Hampshire schools, packaging of some items that cannot be recycled such as tetrapaks and small plastic pots of fruit juice which require a plastic straw, and desserts in small rigid pots.

“[These] are difficult to recycle. [Why do we use these] instead of providing juice drinks in small screw top bottles and washable pots for desserts that can be reused or other bio degradable containers?”

In response, Cllr Kendal said: “HC3S has worked closely with schools over recent months to reduce single-use plastics.

“It is also committed to reducing this even further by continuing to work with its key suppliers to find alternatives and keeping abreast of market developments in this area.

“Any waste collected from county council sites and our maintained schools, that is not recycled, is disposed of through the Energy Recovery facilities in Hampshire, thus providing electricity for homes.

“So it should be bared in mind that plastics are difficult to remove completely from the catering industry because food must be kept safe. Otherwise this could cause a serious risk to health, particularly to our schoolchildren.”