Some single-use plastics to be banned in England

Plastic cutlery

Single-use items such as plastic cutlery, plates and polystyrene trays will be banned in England, the Government has confirmed to the BBC according to its report.

According to a report by the BBC, the ban follows similar decisions taken by Scotland and Wales and it is unclear when it will come into effect.

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey said the ban would help protect the environment for future generations.

Reports of a ban on single-use plastics have been circulating for several months, however, the BBC report says the decision has been confirmed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The ban follows a long consultation, which is set to be published on 14 January.

Commenting on the ban, Environment Secretary Coffey said: “I am determined to drive forward action to tackle this issue head-on. We’ve already taken major steps in recent years – but we know there is more to do, and we have again listened to the public’s calls.

“This new ban will have a huge impact to stop the pollution of billions of pieces of plastics and help to protect the natural environment for future generations.”

Reports of the ban have drawn praise; however, campaigners have called for Defra to go even further.

CIWM welcomes the progress being made to tackle plastic pollution.

CIWM’s Policy & External Affairs Director, Lee Marshall, said: “CIWM welcomes the progress being made to tackle plastic pollution. Whilst plastic has a positive role in certain circumstances, and can actually help to prevent waste, banning items that are likely to be single-use and easily littered is a step in the right direction.

“To ensure the benefits of this ban are fully realised we must go a step further and ensure we are adopting better design principles which design out waste and design in enhanced reuse and refill ability. We look forward to seeing the full output from the consultation on the 14th January.”

A Plastic Planet Co-Founder, Sian Sutherland, said: “For far too long we have accepted needless use of plastic, an incredible but toxic material that has powered our throwaway consumerism, directly driving the climate crisis.

“Of course, plastic is the bad boy of single use but we need to question why any material should be taken from nature, used once and discarded as trash. A comprehensive rethink of how we use natural resource materials is urgently needed.

“If we are to truly tackle the plastic crisis, we must move to solutions including permanent packaging and prefill systems, which will necessitate a true reinvention of our take, make, waste systems.”

The ban will help England catch up with other countries that already implemented similar bans years ago.

Sutherland continued that as much as A Plastic Planet welcomes the proposed ban, the UK is following Europe’s lead, saying that countries like France have acted much faster and have had a wider impact.

Commenting on the reports, Steve Hynd, Policy Manager at City to Sea, said: “This is a step in the right direction. These are some of the most polluting single-use plastic items most commonly found in our rivers, oceans, and on our beaches.

“The ban will help England catch up with other countries that already implemented similar bans years ago. But for England to be a true “global leaders” in tackling plastic pollution like this government claims to be, we need them to go much further.

“We need to see an overarching strategy for tackling plastic pollution that commits to a legally binding reduction of single-use plastics.”

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