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Case 109 - Council using plastic bags to wrap refuse

Issue

A council uses thousands of plastic bags to wrap refuse that is then thrown into skips because they say health and safety say all refuse has to be in plastic bags

Panel decision

There is no Health and safety legislation which specifies that municipal waste must be wrapped/contained in plastic bags, however it is conceivable that the Council have assessed the occupational health and safety risks to those collecting the waste and concluded that the use of plastic bags is a practical way and managing any risks. If this is the case it seems reasonable. The local authority should explain clearly what they mean when they say it is a "health and safety" requirement.

2013-02-08