Red-Green Oslo to drop single-use plastic

Oslo City Hall, Oslo municipality finedOslo City Hall.Photo: Norway Today Media

Oslo will, as the first city in the world, cut unnecessary single-use plastics, promises Oslo’s Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen (Ap) and Vice Mayor for Environment and Transport in Oslo Lan Marie Berg (MDG).


The news comes a day after the The Green Party, at their country-wide meeting, agreed that disposable plastics should be banned by 2020.

“Oslo municipality takes the lead role in reducing the use of unnecessary plastic. We will go through our own purchases to phase out unnecessary single-use plastics in the municipality’s projects, and invite industries and organisations in Oslo to a community effort against plastic pollution,” says Raymond Johansen to NTB.

When he attends the MDG’s national meeting later today, he will describe the ambition that Oslo will be the first city in the world to phase out single-use plastics.

“As Oslo will be the European Green Capital next year, we want to show how a big city can lead the way in the fight against plastic pollution,” adds Vice Mayor for Environment and Transport in Oslo Lan Marie Berg.

“An Unclear goal”
Høyre party leader Eirik Lae Solberg, for his part, meets the promise of Ap and MDG with a solid dose of skepticism.

“I’m fear that the ambitions are too low. It is unclear what they mean by ‘unnecessary single-use plastic’. The goal should be that the City of Oslo puts a stop to all disposable plastic,” says Lae Solberg.

He believes Oslo could come very far in replacing disposable plastics now during the current year, and says that the Høyre Party was in the process of promoting such a proposal for the city council.

“Oslo municipality spends 26 billion kroner a year in purchases, and is the country’s second largest public purchaser, only superseded by the state. We need to use that market power in the fight against disposable plastics,” says the Høyre’s leader.

He explains that the municipalities enterprises are replacing disposable plastics with biodegradable, environmentally-friendly alternatives where they can be found, and that the municipality’s suppliers are challenged to develop plastic-free alternatives through so-called innovative procurement. The construction industry and the health sector should also be plastic-free, he believes.

15 tons
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), around 15 tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean every minute. Last year, the UN Environment Assembly agreed on an ambition to stop plastic pollution in the ocean, but no countries or cities have yet taken leadership to turn this ambition into practice.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today