Today (22 October 2018) UK government have released a new consultation on proposals to ban the distribution and/or sale of plastic straws, plastic - stemmed cotton buds and plastic drink stirrers in England
Following on from the EU's proposed single-use plastics directive announced earlier this year, which covers the 10 most common single-use plastic items, this consultation is focused purely on the impact of plastic straws, cotton buds and drinks stirrers on the environment. For more details about what the proposed single-use plastics directive entails, please click here. From a wider perspective, both consultations are elements of the government's 25-Year Environment Plan which aims to implement measures to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by 2042.
The consultation released today aims to increase the protection of England's environment by further reducing plastic pollution through the collation of views from a wide range of stakeholders. These include those from across the manufacturing, retail and wholesale industries, trade representatives, environmental groups, waste management organisations and members of the public. It is clear that the public have a vested interest in tackling the single-use plastics issue due to the response rate to a recent plastics consultation which was the highest in history; the majority of those responses were from the general public. Therefore, it wouldn't be surprising to see a similar trend in the responses to this new consultation.
Specifically, the government are seeking views and evidence regarding extra costs or limitations to business in terms of price impact on alternative materials as production increases, and what the level of impact upon consumers could subsequently be. In addition, with regards to plastic straws, views are required on how best to supply these for medical use.
The full consultation document can be accessed HERE
How to share your views
You can submit your consultation response via the defra website which is an online survey format - click here to submit a response