Single-use items, such as plastic cutlery, plates, and trays, are to be banned in England in an effort to fight plastic pollution.
The environment secretary, Thérèse Coffey, has officially confirmed that she is set to ban numerous single-use plastic items. According to figures from the government, every year, England uses about 1.1bn single-use plates and 4.25bn pieces of such cutlery. Only 10 percent of those are recycled after being used.
“A plastic fork can take 200 years to decompose, that is two centuries in landfill or polluting our oceans,” said Coffey.
“I am determined to drive forward action to tackle this issue head on. We’ve already taken major steps in recent years – but we know there is more to do, and we have again listened to the public’s calls.
“This new ban will have a huge impact to stop the pollution of billions of pieces of plastic and help to protect the natural environment for future generations.”
The Guardian reported that plastic cutlery, plates and trays will be included in the ban. While it is still unknown what exactly the ban will cover, it is a great start in fighting plastic pollution.
Megan Randles, political campaigner for Greenpeace UK, welcomed the move but warned: “This is like reaching for a mop instead of turning off the tap.
“We need the government to deliver a meaningful plastic reduction strategy, which means bringing in plastic reduction targets and a proper reuse and refill scheme.”
Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic every year, 78 percent of which is NOT reclaimed or recycled. Around 8.8 million tons of plastic get dumped into the oceans every year! 700 marine animals are faced with extinction due to the threat that plastic poses to them in the form of entanglement, pollution, and ingestion. 50 percent of sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs. By 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste. According to a study by the World Economic Forum, there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and if things go on business as usual, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.
Read more about how companies like Facebook, Tupperware, Google, Dove, Budweiser, Carlsberg, and FIJI Water are working towards reducing plastic pollution. Places around the world like Tel Aviv, California, Baltimore, Scotland and many more are banning various single-use plastics and others that are coming up with creative ways to recycle and use plastic waste.
There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!
- Marine Animals that are Dying because of our Plastic Habit
- Where Plastic Really Goes When You Throw it Out
- 5 Documentaries to make you Rethink Single-Use Plastics
- 6 Million Tons of Single-Use Plastics Get Thrown Out Every Year!
- New EU Plastic Waste Ban Could Finally End Mini Hotel Toiletries and Single-Use Food Containers
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
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- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!