The provision of single-use plastic cutlery, plates, and bowls by restaurants and takeaways is to be banned in October, the Government has announced.
The ban, which will affect England, is being brought in as a way of dealing with the growing plastic problem across the country.
While green groups welcomed the move, they said that more could be done to stop packaging going straight to landfills with The British Takeaway campaign telling the BBC that more needs to be done to help businesses implement this.
The BTC also said that this could mean higher prices as eateries pass on the price of more expensive packaging to consumers.
It’s time to say goodbye to #SingleUsePlastic.
From October 2023 we’re banning the supply of a range of single-use plastics like
Read more: https://t.co/0xyPD1eeIs pic.twitter.com/0q1jEixJ2K
— Defra UK (@DefraGovUK) January 14, 2023
It is estimated by the Department of Rural Affairs that England uses 2.7 billion single-use cutlery items a year, leading to concern.
It is expected that this ban will be enforced through the use of civil sanctions with repeated offenses leading to criminal action.
Of the change, Environment Secretary Therese Coffey said: “We all know the absolutely devastating impacts that plastic can have on our environment and wildlife.
“We have listened to the public and these new single-use plastics bans will continue our vital work to protect the environment for future generations.”
Adding: “I am proud of our efforts in this area: we have banned microbeads, restricted the use of straws, stirrers and cotton buds and our carrier bag charge has successfully cut sales by over 97% in the main supermarkets.”
The Government is also currently considering a ban on commonly littered items like wet wipes, tobacco filters, and sachets.
Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow also said that the Government would be “pressing ahead with our ambitious plans for a deposit return scheme for drinks containers and consistent recycling collections in England.”
The UK wants us to think banning plastic plates and cutlery is a big deal.
We’ll start believing it when we see a ban on single use plastic bottles and shopping bags, and a moratorium on the incineration and export of plastic waste.#BreakFreeFromPlastic https://t.co/1BFNyym7UZ
— Greenpeace (@Greenpeace) January 10, 2023
However, Nina Schrank, Greenpeace’s plastics campaign lead, said: “This announcement is really just nibbling around the edges of a giant problem.
“Banning items one by one might produce nice headlines for the Government but the reality is it won’t stem the staggering amount of plastic the UK produces each year.
“The Government needs to announce reuse targets that mean supermarkets have to follow suit, offering reuse and refill solutions to their customers that eliminate the need for disposable packaging.
“It urgently needs to end the export of waste overseas, which has led to open dumping in countries like Turkey.
“We also need Defra to end its culture of dither and delay and finally bring in the long-promised bottle return scheme which will stop billions of bottles and containers being dumped each year.”
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