Single-use plates, cutlery and trays to be banned in England

By Cameron Saunders
The move, which still does not yet have a hard timeline, will follow similar ones by Scotland and Wales, as well as a 2020 ban that ended plastic straws

British takeaways and chippies are going to overhaul some of their business strategy after it was announced that single-use plastic cutlery, plates and trays – those conveyors of greasy goodness, from source to mouth – are to be phased out in England. This move follows similar ones taken in Scotland and Wales. 

Despite the fact that it is as-of-yet unknown when the ban will come into effect, the nation’s Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey claimed that it would benefit the environment for future generations: “I am determined to drive forward action to tackle this issue head on. We’ve already taken major steps in recent years – but we know there is more to do, and we have again listened to the public’s calls.

“This new ban will have a huge impact to stop the pollution of billions of pieces of plastics and help to protect the natural environment for future generations.”

Campaigners, meanwhile, praised the development but still maintained that a more encompassing plastic reduction strategy was in order. 

A nation of plastic consumption

To date, England has a less than stellar record when it comes to reusable eating materials. According to one government estimate, 1.1 billion single-use plates and over four billion pieces of plastic cutlery are used every year. 

On a person-by-person basis in England, an average of 18 plastic plates and 37 pieces of plastic cutlery are used every year. Of these, only 10% are actually recycled. 

Generally speaking, it is this recycling problem that the government is targeting with these measures. Plastic, of course, does not decompose, meaning that, though it may be good for food hygiene, it pollutes soil and water on a huge scale. 

The ban, though, will not apply to products sold in supermarkets or shops, just eating establishments. 

This is not England’s foray into banning what were once regarded as quotidian products: in 2020, it banned plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds. 

Share
Share
Author

Featured Articles

Sustainability LIVE – More Events to Come in 2024

Sustainability LIVE will be returning with more events in 2024 with New York, London, The Global Sustainability & ESG Awards, and Diversity & Inclusion

Sustainability LIVE New York: Meet Our Speakers

Discover the lineup for Sustainability LIVE New York. Don’t miss out on your chance to attend the two-day virtual event on 3 and 4 June 2024

The Sustainability & ESG Awards Submissions – 1 Week to Go

Just one more week to go until submissions close for The Sustainability & ESG Awards launching at Sustainability LIVE London Global Summit

American Express’s Madge Thomas joins Sustainability LIVE NY

ESG

PepsiCo CSO Jim Andrew joins Sustainability LIVE New York

ESG

Amy Brachio, EY Joins Sustainability LIVE New York

Diversity & Inclusion (D&I)