The Government has recently announced that, from October 2023, there will be a ban on a range of single-use plastics that add to pollution levels. This is in addition to the plastic packaging tax that came into effect in April 2022.
The ban will include single-use plastic plates, trays, bowls, cutlery, balloon sticks, and certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers.
According to estimates, England uses 2.7 billion items of single-use cutlery — most of which are plastic — and 721 million single-use plates per year, but only 10% are recycled.
Plastic pollution takes hundreds of years to break down and inflicts serious damage to our oceans, rivers and land. It is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, from the production and manufacture of the plastic itself to the way it is disposed.
Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey said:
“We all know the absolutely devastating impacts that plastic can have on our environment and wildlife. We have listened to the public and these new single-use plastics bans will continue our vital work to protect the environment for future generations.”
Reducing single-use plastics waste and littering in England
It is expected that banning these items will have a significant impact in reducing plastic waste and littering in England. The Government is also carefully considering further measures around other commonly littered and problematic plastic items, including wet wipes, tobacco filters and sachets, following the call for evidence on this issue.
Future steps that could be explored include banning plastic in these items, and mandatory labelling on packaging to help consumers dispose of these items correctly. A new research project will also look into the impact of wet wipes on blockages in the sewage system, and will inform any future policy actions.
Through the Environment Act, the Government is bringing in further measures to tackle plastic pollution and litter. This includes a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers to recycle billions more plastic bottles and stop them being landfilled, incinerated, or littered via a small deposit on drinks products to incentivise people to recycle, and plans for Consistent Recycling Collections for every household and business in England.
What can your business do to reduce plastic?
At Ribble, one of our key focus areas is the environment and leaving the planet a richer place than we found it. All of our packaging products are 100% recyclable and, can be used again and again through the supply chain.
Our business is heavily focused on not just maintaining our own standards of environmental responsibility but helping our customers to develop their packaging processes to operate more sustainably.
By using our services, you can eliminate the need for plastic void-fill packaging and create a more sustainable packaging process while saving money at the same time.