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Dec 27th, 2021 by Admin

Government plans to ban single-use plastic plates, cutlery, and cups

It seems the government is serious about handling plastic pollution. Gear up to soon say goodbye to single-use plastic plates, cutlery, and cups as the government is planning to ban them altogether. The blanket ban on single-use plastic items will help reduce plastic pollution, which is a big environmental hazard.

Before making it all official, a consultation will be launched to ask members of the public their views on the proposed ban. A separate call will be issued asking for evidence of the ways to limit the use of other items that have plastic in them. The government is contemplating the idea of banning plastic in items such as tobacco sachets and filters, wet wipes, etc. As per the proposed options, plastic in these items will be banned and mandatory labels would be put on the packaging to help consumers depose them off correctly.

To implement the ban, the government may use the Environment Act powers. This move is being seen as a concrete step towards ending throwaway culture. Customers would be incentivized to choose sustainable alternatives. This much-appreciated step comes after the ban on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products earlier and restrictions imposed on single-use plastic stirrers, straws, and cotton buds.

Talking about the proposed ban, Environment secretary George Eustice has remarked that the government wants to reduce the use of plastics in packaging. They want to ban plastic items often linked to littering. This step comes in response to the growing recognition of the harmful impact of single-use plastic on our environment, especially oceans and marine life.

Plastic Pollution Crisis

Plastic Pollution Crisis

You have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard about the severe adverse impact of plastic pollution on our environment. It is one of the most pressing environmental issues expedited by consumerism and throwaway culture. You can gauge the impact by the simple fact that one million plastic water bottles are bought every minute around the world. And of course, a huge number of them are the main cause of littering around. It’s just not plastic water bottles, 5 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year. We are talking about 5 trillion single-use plastic bags! Imagine the impact on the environment and the extent of pollution. Simply stated, half of the plastic produced in the world is single-use plastic. You can use it just once and then it ends up in either landfill or pollutes oceans impacting marine life.

Unfortunately, plastic waste has become ubiquitous in the natural environment and unless we take radical steps, things are not going to change.

If you look at the statics, plastic waste generation has been expedited since the 1990s. In the early 2000s, plastic waste generation has increased more in this single decade than it had in the previous 40 years. Things seem to be getting worse as presently we generate about 300 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. To put things in perspective, this plastic waste generation is equal to the combined weight of each and every human on the planet! That’s how grave the matter is!

Impact of plastic pollution on the environment

Impact of plastic pollution on the environment

Plastic waste has far more reaching damaging impacts than we fathomed earlier. It is a well-known fact that it takes 400 years for a simple plastic bag to deteriorate and biodegrade. This in itself speaks volumes about the grave effect plastic pollution has on the environment if not stopped with a heavy hand.  Experts estimate approximately 100,000 sea turtles and other marine animals die every year due to plastic pollution reaching the oceans. This is because they either mistake plastic for food or get strangled in it. We all remember the heartbreaking video that got viral a few years ago when a few kind humans got together to remove plastic straws stuck in the nostrils of a sea turtle.

Plastic pollution causes overflow at the landfill sites, destructs the natural habitats of wildlife, requires a very high amount of fossil fuels for production, leads to littering, and much more.

Plastic pollution can be thwarted by reducing the unnecessary overuse of plastic in packaging, relying on recycling and upcycling plastic products, and moving towards sustainable solutions.

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