The UK’s Plan to BAN Single-Use Plastics

plastics

The UK government announced plans to ban single-use plastic plates and cutlery, as well as polystyrene cups. The goal is to reduce the amount of plastic polluting the environment.

Plastic bag bans are being proposed across the European Union with a public consultation launching in autumn. This move was welcomed by campaigners, but they said overall progress on cutting plastic waste is “snail-paced” as according to them the EU had banned these items and others back during July this year.
Why ban single-use plastics?
Every year, people use on average 18 throwaway plates and 37 plastic knives, forks and spoons. Unfortunately, all this waste kills over one million birds each year with their sharp edges while 100,000 marine animals die from entanglement in the non-degradable litter every year.
The government is also imposing a plastic packaging tax from April 2022. This will charge £200 per tonne for plastic that has less than 30% recycled content, to encourage greater use of recycled material.
In 2015, the UK banned plastic bags from supermarkets and implemented a charge to encourage shoppers to use reusable ones. By 2018 they had already phased out plastic microbeads in washing products as well as single-use straws for drinks. They plan on banning all other single-use plastics by 2020 including cotton buds and drinks stirrers.
beach plastic
The deposit return scheme for plastic bottles will not be in place until at least late 2024, six years after being announced by the government as a key environmental policy.
The environment secretary, George Eustice said that he is pleased to announce measures for plastic pollution. He added it’s important we focus on cleaning up our parks and green spaces as well as the beaches which are littered with plastic waste.
According to research published in June, plastic items from takeaway food and drink dominate the litter found on beaches around the world. The four most common types of plastics were single-use bags, bottles used for water or soft drinks, containers that held takeout meals and fast food wrappers.
From the peak of Mount Everest to the deepest oceans, microplastic pollution has contaminated every inch of our planet.
Will McCallum, at Greenpeace UK, said: “Banning throwaway plastic items like plates and cutlery is a welcome move, but the UK government is simply playing catch up with the EU. After years of talking about being a global leader in this field, the UK government has managed to crack down on a grand total of four single-use plastic items and microplastics. This snail-paced, piecemeal approach isn’t leadership.”
Ministers, according to McCallum, should set legally enforceable standards to reduce single-use plastic by half by 2025 and prohibit the export of discarded plastic. He stated, “The UK public has long been willing and ready to move on from polluting throwaway plastic.” “Is the government listening?”
The government’s new plans, according to Hugo Tagholm of Surfers Against Sewage, are good but long overdue: “This alone will not turn back the plastic flow.” He stated that all bottles must be included in the deposit return scheme for plastic bottles.

Furthermore, Libby Peake of the Green Alliance think tank, there should also be an emphasis on decreasing waste at the source: “Alternatives [to single-use plastic plates and cutlery] made from other materials also aren’t necessary and will store up environmental problems for the future. We need to address the root of the problem, redesigning the system and tackling the throwaway society once and for all.”

Extended Producer Responsibility
The government aims to have businesses pay the whole cost of recycling and disposing of their packaging, and has held consultations on introducing the scheme, known as “extended producer responsibility,” beginning in 2023. It has also sought feedback on ideas to ensure that recycling schemes are consistent across the UK, as people are frequently confused by differing restrictions in various areas.

The UK government is also taking action to tackle plastic waste through the UK Plastics Pact, which plans on tackling possible actions by 2025. Eight harmful plastic items have been highlighted for elimination by Pact members.

These items include crisp packets and cling film made from PVC; fruit stickers and punnets; coffee pods and tea bags.
To combat the issue of plastic waste, the UK Plastics Pact brings together businesses from across the whole plastics value chain with UK governments and NGO, with coordination by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
reduce single use plastic
Members of the pact will eliminate harmful plastics, lowering the overall quantity of packaging on supermarket shelves, promoting innovation and new business models, and assisting in the development of a better recycling system in the United Kingdom.
They are establishing a circular economy for plastics, collecting its value by keeping it in the economy rather than in the environment.
Reducing single-use plastic waste is a common sense solution for protecting nature.

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