COP26: Plastic spotted washed up on shore in Glasgow
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The new crackdown would follow on from plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds, which were banned in the majority of circumstances in 2020. The plans to ban the products are being drawn up by the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The new prohibition will also include plastic plates, mini milk pots and salad dressing pots.
Rules will be drawn up to ban restaurants and takeaways from distributing plastics.
This is part of ongoing measures designed to cut down on plastic waste.
Most plastic waste still ends up in landfill or the sea.
Plastics can take anywhere between 300 and 500 years to decompose.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, “the energy required to produce and transport plastic water bottles could fuel an estimated 1.5 million cars for a year”.
The WWF added: “Approximately 75 percent of water bottles are not recycled.
“They end up in landfills, litter roadsides, and pollute waterways and oceans.”
In November the Government launched a call for evidence on ways to tackle pollution from commonly littered single-use plastic items.
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These included plastic sachets, wet wipes, and coffee cups.
The Government’s report found that single-use sauce sachets could “cause considerable harm to the marine and terrestrial environment when disposed of incorrectly”.
This is because of the small size of the sachets and because of their heavy contamination with food, they are hard to segregate and clean.
Most plastic sachets are unlikely to be recycled and can find their way into marine environments.
A Government source stated that the ban on plastic sachets was being considered because “alternatives do exist and sachets are very problematic”.
There are now innovative ways of creating biodegradable alternatives to single-use plastics.
A London-based startup called Notpla creates biodegradable sauce packets out of brown seaweed.
The seaweed used is fast-growing and abundantly available.
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