The UK government could soon ban the use of plastic cutlery, plates, and cups in England. According to media reports, the ministers are planning to prohibit single-use products made from unrecyclable products. The new move will be in line with the ban on plastic straws, cotton buds, and drink stirrers, which was implemented in 2020.
A report by the Metro confirmed that environment secretary Therese Coffey was deliberating a bid to curb and eventually phase out unrecyclable single-use products and replace them with biodegradable substitutes. As per some reports, similar prohibitions were already in place in Scotland and Wales.
The move to aggressively curb single-use plastics has come months after the Defra (Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs) conducted a public consultation on the issue between November 2021 and February 2022. The action plan included banning plastic products like food and beverage containers, balloon sticks, etc. However, the political instability throughout the year resulted in unavoidable delays.
The Defra officially stated that it was looking to accelerate the “reduce, reuse, and recycle of resources” plans to revolutionise the waste industry. Defra added that the implemented and upcoming prohibitions on plastics were a part of its 25-Year Environmental Plan, for which the reduction of single-use plastic consumption was vital. The Defra is also deliberating plans to curb wet wipes and tobacco filters.
A news agency noted that England disposes of more than 4 billion cutlery products and over a billion plates made of single-use plastics. The report stated that though it was possible to recycle these products, almost all of the single-use plastic in England ended up in landfills or litter due to “the country’s throwaway culture.” Further, the report claimed that not more than 10% of the 300 million tonnes of plastic waste meted out each year is recycled, while the rest is disposed of.