England’s banning plastic plates and cutlery later this yr

England’s taking its single-use plastics ban even additional by limiting the sale of plastic cutlery, plates, bowls, trays, balloon sticks, in addition to sure sorts of polystyrene cups and meals containers (by way of Engadget). In response to an announcement on the English authorities’s web site, the brand new ban will go into impact in October of this yr.

As soon as the ban comes into power, folks will now not have the ability to purchase or receive these single-use plastics from companies, together with retailers, eating places, meals distributors, and different areas.

The ban received’t have an effect on the plastic plates, trays, or bowls that include pre-packaged meals gadgets, although, as they’re already included within the nation’s Prolonged Producer Accountability Scheme. This initiative incentivizes corporations to make use of recyclable packaging, in addition to “meet increased recycling targets.”

The upcoming ban expands on the nation’s present guidelines surrounding plastic merchandise. In 2018, England launched a ban on microbeads, the tiny items of plastic added to non-public care merchandise that may get into waterways and hurt marine life. It later restricted the provision of single-use plastic straws, drink stirrers, and cotton swaps in 2020, and launched a tax on imported plastic packaging that doesn’t embrace not less than 30 p.c recycled materials final yr. The nation additionally expenses for the use of plastic luggage.

“By introducing a ban later this yr we’re doubling down on our dedication to get rid of all avoidable plastic waste,” Rebecca Pow, England’s surroundings minister, says in an announcement. England’s ban follows Scotland and Wales’ transfer to limit the sale of plastic cutlery and plates final yr, and comes after the European Union did the identical in 2021.

Nonetheless, some critics argue that it nonetheless isn’t sufficient to sort out rampant plastic air pollution that’s wreaking havoc on the planet. As journalist and former Guardian surroundings editor, John Vidal, factors out, England’s ban “is just too slender in its scope,” because it doesn’t “cowl single-use plastic water bottles, makes no point out of plastic luggage and doesn’t even attempt to management the burning of plastic waste in incinerators.” In the meantime, Meg Randles, a political campaigner at Greenpeace UK, welcomes the change, however says the transfer is “lengthy overdue” and “nonetheless a drop within the ocean in comparison with the motion that’s wanted to stem the plastic tide.”

Along with an prolonged ban on single-use plastics, the nation’s additionally “fastidiously contemplating” restrictions on moist wipes, tobacco filters, and sachets. It could additionally require corporations so as to add labeling to plastic merchandise to tell prospects easy methods to correctly get rid of them, and is working in the direction of creating a bottle return program.

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