The UK government is planning to outlaw other single-use plastic goods including plates and cutlery in England after outlawing straws, stirrers, and cotton swabs there in 2020 in an effort to address the growing plastic waste problem in the UK and the planet.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) held a public consultation regarding a plan to ban the supply of single-use plastic goods and polystyrene food and drink containers from November of last year until February of 2022, according to The Independent.
In order to reform the waste business and fulfill our obligations under the ambitious 25-year environment plan, we are committed to moving even further and more quickly toward the reduction, reuse, and recycling of more of our resources. Reduced reliance on single-use plastics is essential, a DEFRA official told The Guardian.
According to the Financial Times, Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Th r se Coffey will outline initiatives to replace single-use plastic products with biodegradable ones.
Scotland enacted the same ban earlier this year, while Wales adopted a ban on single-use plastic products last week, which will take effect in 2023.
According to the government, 4.25 billion single-use cutlery items and 1.1 billion plates are used annually in England, or 75 pieces of cutlery and 20 plates per person, yet just 10% of this waste is recycled, according to CNN.
The majority of plastics are generated from fossil fuels and emit greenhouse gases, hastening climate change.
According to Julie James, the Welsh Minister for Climate Change, all single-use plastic products have reusable or non-plastic alternatives.
According to James, who was quoted by the Financial Times, it isn’t significantly more expensive, and more affordable alternatives will become available as consumers become aware of how hazardous these items are.
DEFRA is also considering how to handle other single-use plastic products, such as wet wipes and cigarette filters.
Only around 10 percent of the 331 million tonnes of plastic waste produced annually around the world is recycled, and it can persist for hundreds of years before decomposing into tiny fragments that can contaminate the ecosystem and be consumed by wildlife and marine animals.
The Plastic is Used Only Once
According to Greenpeace, pollution is both an environmental and a social rights issue. As wealthy corporations make enormous profits from the usage of single-use plastic packaging, single-use, disposable plastic finds its way into our disadvantaged and at-risk neighborhoods.
The Global South frequently bears the brunt of the flow of disposable plastic into their rivers, seas, and landfills when more industrialized nations begin to stand up and restrict the quantity of plastic garbage entering their borders.
To supplement their scant incomes, vulnerable people turn to the trade in single-use plastics, which is suffocating. Although the big industry is aware of this, virtually little is being done to actually stop the flow of single-use plastic that it contributes to the issue.