Two years after the government banned plastic cotton buds, microbeads and drinking straws in England, a new ban has been announced that will apply to single use cutlery, cups and plates. This has the potential to end the production of more than 4 billion items of plastic cutlery and over a billion plastic plates each year.

However, the ban only applies to takeaways.  It does not have any impact on single use items provided by supermarkets or shops.  Whilst the ban is a step in the right direction, it goes nowhere near far enough.  Around half of the plastic produced today is used for single-use items, with around 40% of this being packaging.  Less than 10% of single use cutlery and plates are currently recycled, according to the Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Campaigners are calling for the government to introduce a reuse and refill scheme for plastic bottles to prevent vast numbers of single use plastic bottles (around 7.7 billion per year) from being thrown away.
The reason plastic is such a problem is that it doesn't rot away in the environment.  It will gradually break down into tiny pieces (microplastic), but it never really goes away.  In fact, with the exception of the plastics that have been incinerated, all the rest still exist in some shape or form, either on land, buried underground or in our lakes, rivers and oceans.
YPTE exists to help young people learn more about the environmental issues facing our world.  To find out more, check out some of the related resources below.

Related Resources

Please donate £5 to help YPTE to continue its work of inspiring young people to look after our world.

Donate £5 X