The ban on single use plastic in the UK and what it means for me
Did you know that the UK government has announced a ban on single use plastic? Polluting plastics which harm our landscapes and wildlife could be banned in England, Environment Secretary George Eustice announced. In fact, England alone 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.
As plastic becomes banned in the UK, now is the most important time to look for plastic-free alternatives.
Environment Secretary George Eustice went on to say: “There is growing recognition of the damage that plastics cause to our environment and marine life in particular. We want to reduce the use of plastics in packaging and ban its use in items linked to littering. We have already banned plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds and now plan to extend the ban to cutlery and balloon sticks where alternative materials, like wood can be used.”
Despite the action taken so far on plastics, it remains widespread and its inappropriate disposal causes environmental damage. A plastic item used for a few minutes can persist in the environment for hundreds of years and endanger wildlife and habitats. When broken down into microplastics, it reaches our soils, waterways, ocean and food chains within them. Around the world, more than one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals and turtles die every year from eating or getting tangled in plastic waste.
Through the Environment Act, the Government is bringing in a wide range of further measures to tackle plastic pollution and litter, including:
- The UK government introducing a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers to recycle billions more plastic bottles and stop them being landfilled, incinerated, or littered. Through a small deposit placed on drinks products, the DRS will incentivise people to recycle;
- The Extended Producer Responsibility scheme will mean packaging producers will be expected to cover the cost of recycling and disposing of their packaging.
- The Government also plans for Consistent Recycling Collections for every household and business in England to ensure more plastic is recycled.
So what does this mean for me?
Under the new act, single use plastic and cutlery will no longer be available for public consumption. Across England and Scotland, these products will be banned. It means that it will now be an offence for businesses in Scotland to provide single-use items such as plastic cutlery, plates, and stirrers. This means that you should begin to look at possible alternatives. This includes biodegradable plastic options or even better, bamboo or wooden alternatives! Fortunately, MyDepoz has a variety of plastic-free alternatives. You can supply your kitchen or canteen with plastic free options.
To find our entire range of products to help you live an eco friendly summer and life, click here.
If you have any questions about biodegradable alternatives, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact us here.