Disposable plastic plates, cutlery and polystyrene cups could be BANNED
- Ministers will launch a public consultation on banning the items
- It is hoped plans will prompt businesses to invest in sustainable alternatives
- The Mail’s Turn The Tide On Plastic campaign has led to fall in plastic bag use
Throwaway plastic plates, cutlery and polystyrene cups will be banned under government plans to ramp up the war on plastic pollution.
In a major victory for the Daily Mail’s campaign to tackle plastic waste, ministers will launch a public consultation on banning the items – which are often found polluting rivers and seas, or harming wildlife.
Ministers hope the plans will prompt businesses to invest in sustainable alternatives to cut down on excess plastic.
The Mail’s Turn The Tide On Plastic campaign has already led to a dramatic fall in the number of plastic bags being used and a ban on plastic microbeads, straws, stirrers and cotton buds.
Throwaway plastic plates, cutlery and polystyrene cups will be banned under government plans to ramp up the war on plastic pollution
Under the Environment Bill, which should become law before the end of the year, the Government will acquire extra powers to force producers to pay more if they use unsustainable packaging.
Ministers will also have powers to ban single-use plastics, and a public consultation on banning throwaway cutlery, cups and plates will begin this autumn.
According to figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), each person in England uses an average of 18 single-use plastic plates and 37 single-use plastic items of cutlery every year.
The powers could lead to ministers proposing a ban on more types of plastic – such as sandwich wrappers or takeaway boxes. They will also consult on a deposit return scheme to encourage recycling and hope to make it law by 2024.
The moves come ahead of the UK chairing the COP26 UN climate summit, where world leaders will discuss plans to reduce emissions and tackle climate change.
Thanks to the durability of plastic, items used for a few minutes can last for centuries in landfill or as litter in the countryside or ocean.
Around the world, more than a million birds and 100,000 sea mammals and turtles die every year from eating plastic waste or getting tangled in it.
Defra said the latest plans were part of the Government’s commitment to prevent all avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042.
In a major victory for the Daily Mail’s campaign to tackle plastic waste, ministers will launch a public consultation on banning the items – which are often found polluting rivers and seas, or harming wildlife
Environment Secretary George Eustice paid tribute to the Mail’s campaign, writing on this page: ‘I want to take this opportunity to thank the Daily Mail’s readers who have supported the Turn The Tide On Plastic campaign.’
Jo Morley, head of campaigns at City to Sea, said: ‘This is a much-needed move that we as campaigners have been calling for, along with thousands of our supporters and members of the public.
‘We need now to take a leading role in banning unnecessary single-use plastics to see real benefits for the nation’s and the world’s wildlife.’
Sarah McMonagle, spokesman for countryside charity CPRE, said: ‘We hope this announcement is a sign of greater government action to tackle the plastic and waste crisis.
‘But consultation after consultation suggests the Government is more interested in tinkering around the edges rather than seizing the opportunity to tackle plastic waste.’
The Environment Bill will also introduce a new tax on producers. The Extended Producer Responsibility scheme will mean companies will be expected to cover the full cost of recycling and disposing of their packaging.
Producers of commonly littered packaging will be made more responsible for this litter, including paying fees to cover the cost of cleaning up and for litter prevention activities.