STORY: England will ban a range of single-use plastic items
in an effort to limit soaring plastic pollution.
The ban will say goodbye to plastic cutlery, plates and bowls…
and will come into effect in the autumn of 2023, according to Britain's environment department.
“We are going to be bringing in a ban on a whole number of problematic single use plastics by October this year.”
“If you can use something multiple times and it’s better quality than plastic, why not do that?"
The government says England currently uses an estimated 2.7 billion items of single-use cutlery every year - most of which are plastic, as well as 721 million such plates.
But only 10% end up being recycled.
British lawmaker, Rebecca Pow.
‘’And it includes polystyrene cups and polystyrene containers. So, a whole range of what we would call very
commonly littered items, which are basically problematic.”
The United Nations says decades of overuse of single-use plastics has caused a "global environmental catastrophe.’’
Most plastics can remain intact for centuries and damage oceans, rivers and land where millions of tonnes end up as waste each year.
A 2022 global survey found three in four people want single-use plastics to be banned as soon as possible.
A ban on supplying plastic straws and stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds already came into force in England in 2020 - a move which many environmental groups and activists welcomed.
But some Londoners would still prefer more to be done.
“I would prefer if the government made bigger changes when it comes to the environment, when it comes to what companies can do with the environment, and more of kind of like the large-scale issue.”
“I’m just not quite sure how they want to do that because I don’t know if it’s so practical if you always have to bring your own stuff, your own forks or whatever to be able to eat outside.”
England's new ban will also include single-use plastic trays, balloon sticks and some types of polystyrene cups and food containers.
“We will look at some other items for example wet wipes and for example cigarette filters and so forth they are all coming onto the horizon, we've done a lot of research on these things already, and a call for evidence on many of them, with the view to actions in future.”