This week, the government launched a consultation on phasing out single use plastic items such as plastic plates, cutlery, expanded and extruded polystyrene cups and food and beverage containers, as part of the latest plan to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste.
According to estimates, England uses 1.1 billion single-use plates and 4.25 billion items of single-use cutlery — most of which are plastic — per year, but only 10% are recycled upon disposal. Under proposals in a 12-week public consultation, businesses and consumers will need to move towards more sustainable alternatives.
Richard Fuller, MP for North East Bedfordshire, said:
Our world-leading Environment Act enables us to take tougher action on single-use plastics in England, but we must go further to fully eradicate the use of problematic plastics that pollute our natural world.
That is why we are launching a consultation into banning more problematic plastics, such as plastic cutlery and plates, meaning businesses and consumers will need to move towards more sustainable alternatives and consider how this move will be fair for consumers.
We are leading the way in protecting our natural environment and these new plans represent the next major step in eradicating the use of problematic plastics.
The Government is going even further by also launching a separate call for evidence to address other sources of plastic pollution. This will ask stakeholders for views on tackling commonly littered plastics such as wet wipes, tobacco filters, sachets and other single-use cups.
Have your say in the consultation here, which closes on 12 February 2022. You can also contribute to Defra’s call for evidence on commonly littered single-use plastic items by visiting this page before the 12 February 2022.