Government to consult on banning a range of polluting plastics

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Single-use plastic plates, cutlery and polystyrene cups are among a raft of items that could be banned in England as part of a new public consultation being launched in the autumn.

These proposals are set to lead to businesses using more sustainable alternatives.

It is estimated that each person uses 18 single-use plastic plates and 37 single-use plastic items of cutlery each year in England.

The durability of plastic means litter from items used for a few minutes can last for centuries in landfill or as litter in the countryside or ocean.

Environment Secretary George Eustice commented on the announcement: “We’ve all seen the damage that plastic does to our environment.

“It is right that we put in place measures that will tackle the plastic carelessly strewn across our parks and green spaces and washed up on beaches.

“We have made progress to turn the tide on plastic, banning the supply of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds, while our carrier bag charge has cut sales by 95% in the main supermarkets.

“Now we are looking to go a step further as we build back greener. These plans will help us stamp out the unnecessary use of plastics that wreak havoc with our natural environment.”

Around the world, more than one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals and turtles are reported to die every year from eating or getting tangled in plastic waste.

Further details of the consultation, including the full list of single-use items under review, will be announced in the upcoming weeks.