UK seeks ban on single-use plastic plates and cutlery in UK
Single-use plastic plates, cutlery and polystyrene cups could all be banned in the UK as the UK government seeks to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste, it said on Saturday.
The UK uses 1.1 billion disposable plates and 4.25 billion disposable cutlery items, most of which are plastic, each year, but only 10% is recycled at disposal.
Following the recommendations in the 12-week public consultation, businesses and consumers will need to move towards more sustainable alternatives.
The government also launched a separate appeal for evidence to tackle other sources of plastic pollution, such as wet wipes, cigarette filters, and other disposable packets and cups.
Banning plastic in these items could be a future policy measure.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “There is growing recognition of the damage that plastic causes to the environment and marine life in particular.
“We’ve banned plastic straws, stirrers and cotton swabs and now plan to extend the ban to cutlery and balloon sticks where alternative materials, like wood, could be used.”
A ban on the supply of plastic straws and stirrers and plastic cotton buds came into force in the UK last year.
Mandatory charging for disposable bags has cut consumption at major supermarkets by 95% since 2015.
The relevant administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are responsible for their own policies on plastic waste.
(Reporting by James Davey Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)