In England, plastic plates and disposable cutlery will be banned from October. This should result in less waste, and is better for the environment. The Welsh and Scottish governments have already made similar decisions. In the European Union, plastic plates and disposable cutlery have been banned since the summer of 2021.
The British ban means that convenience stores and takeaways are no longer allowed to sell plastic plates or cutlery. Plastic containers and some types of polystyrene containers and cups may not be used.
According to the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Development, 2.7 billion disposable plastic cutlery and 721 million disposable plastic plates are used in the UK each year. About 10 percent of this is recycled. The rest disappears with waste or is dumped on the street or in nature.
Plastic packaging for foods that end up in the store is excluded from the rules. This leads to criticism from environmental groups such as Greenpeace, who describe it as “gurgling in the margins”. “Banning products one by one might make some great headlines for the government, but it won’t stop the massive amount of plastic the UK produces every year.”
Previously, the use of straws and plastic bags was already restricted in the UK. It happened when the country was still part of the European Union.
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