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More Single-use Plastics to be Banned

STOP single use plastic
14 December 2022
 

Disposable plastic items including cutlery, plates and polystyrene are to be banned in England, as a result of the proposal put to consultation last year.

The Financial Times reported that plans are due to be unveiled by the environment secretary Thérèse Coffey, bringing us up to speed with the similar actions already enacted by Scottish and Welsh governments. These will detail the phasing-out procedure and the biodegradable alternatives in the coming weeks.

 

“Cutting our reliance on single-use plastics is crucial.”

 

– Spokesperson
Defra

 

A Positive Conclusion

 

A public consultation ran from November 2021 to February 2022, held by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) – balloon sticks are also among the items to be added to the already banned straws, stirrers and cotton buds criminalised in 2020.

“We are determined to go further and faster to reduce, reuse, and recycle more of our resources in order to transform our waste industry and deliver on our commitments in the ambitious 25-year environment plan,” commented a spokesperson from Defra. “Cutting our reliance on single-use plastics is crucial.”

“Having already banned single-use straws, stirrers and cotton buds and ended the sale of billions of single-use bags with our plastic bag charge, we will be responding soon to a consultation on further bans of plastic plates, cutlery, balloon sticks and expanded and extruded polystyrene cups.”

 

Is it Worth the Cost?

 

While energy costs for catering businesses working on premises are high, the phasing out of these cheap staples for takeaways may be a concern for some ahead of the plan’s reveal.

It is however a clearly necessary step towards sustainability to further legislate against single-use plastic waste. Statistics published on this year’s Global Recycling Day told us that 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic have become waste since the industrial revolution – 79 per cent of plastic waste is sitting in landfills or in the natural environment.

As part of their COVID-19 operational protocols, Sodexo aimed for an approach prioritising single-use plastic alternatives. This includes reusable products and kitchen wares with strict cleaning processes, or innovative package solutions that are more environmentally friendly when possible and in line with local guidelines. Sodexo is the first food services company with a carbon emission reduction objective in line with the Paris Agreement.

 

Picture: "STOP" written with straws, surrounded by plastic cutlery. Image credit: Unsplash.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 14 December 2022

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