England’s Wide-Ranging Ban on Plastic Cutlery Goes Into Effect This Fall

This follows earlier government initiatives in a similar vein

Plastic utensils
Plastic waste can end up in the oddest places.
Brian Yurasits/Unsplash

If you’ve ever put together a party or other large gathering, you may well have gone to your local supermarket and bought an array of plastic plates, utensils and cups to prepare for it. The reasons for this are nominally simple: why not just get something that’s easily disposable, which would make for easier cleanup, at least in theory?

There’s a problem with that line of thinking, though, and it has to do with the amount of waste that it produces — and why more and more compostable alternatives are being made available.

There are other ways to reduce the amount of waste produced along these lines, and one such initiative will go into effect in England this fall. As The Verge reports, England is slated to implement a ban on a host of disposable plastic objects — including cutlery, cups and plates — beginning in October of this year.

“By introducing a ban later this year we are doubling down on our commitment to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste,” Rebecca Pow, Environment Minister, said in a statement. “We will also be pressing ahead with our ambitious plans for a deposit return scheme for drinks containers and consistent recycling collections in England.”

The UK government’s announcement also notes an eye-opening statistic: that “[o]ver 95% of those who responded to our consultation were in favour of the bans.” It might look dramatic at first, but it also seems like a significant way to reduce pollution and waste. It’ll also merit revisiting periodically to make sure the ban is having the desired effect in the years to come.

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