Council must stop advertising artificial grass on its refuse vehicles, say Lib Dems
Gloucester City Council must stop advertising artificial grass on its refuse vehicles, according to thee Liberal Democrats.
Councillor Joanne Brown, who represents Barnwood Ward, challenged the Conservative-run city council to stop advertising environmentally harmful products on the side of its refuse lorries.
In a question to the council leader, Councillor Brown asked him to confirm the criteria for deciding which services and businesses may advertise on recycling vehicles.
In his reply, Councillor Richard Cook said: "We have a contract arrangement with Roadvert who handle all advertising on our behalf and pay us 50% of the profit.
"They have parameters set down in the contract to ensure there is no unacceptable advertising such as alcohol, tobacco etc."
Councillor Brown demanded to know why he was not discouraging Roadvert from advertising products harmful to the environment, such as artificial grass.
In a written reply, Councillor Cook stated: "Artificial grass is essentially constructed of petrochemicals; it releases significant amounts of powerful greenhouse gases as it photodegrades under UV light.
"Further, artificial grass abrades over time and under use, leaching microplastic particles into ground and wastewater. It should also be noted that artificial grass is detrimental to biodiversity.
"Having said that, I am not convinced that we should refuse to advertise it. It could be argued that bottled water comes in plastic bottles, some of which escape into the environment causing the problems noted earlier, but would we refuse to advertise it?"
Speaking afterwards, Councillor Brown said: "I am frankly appalled that the council would consider putting profit above the planet.
"Artificial grass is very harmful to the environment, and we shouldn't be encouraging its sale.
"We are in a climate emergency, which has been acknowledged by most councils including the city council.
"Only last week we were debating the environment in council. This feels like a cop out to me."
Lib Dem leader Jeremy Hilton added: "The Conservative administration may pay lip service to its environmental credentials, but they are for show.
"The council should take immediate action to review its contract with Roadvert to end the advertising of environmentally harmful products.
"As a council we need to set an example to the public in doing all we can to protect our planet."