The Financial Times has reported that Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey is set to approve further bans on single-use plastics including plastic plates, cutlery, balloon sticks, and expanded and extruded polystyrene cups and food and beverage containers.
DEFRA is currently analysing the responses to the 12-week consultation, which ran from November 2021 to February 2022, which has been severely delayed due to‘changes in Government’.
The proposals require businesses and customers to move towards more sustainable alternatives in an attempt from the Government to address sources of plastic pollution and eliminate avoidable plastic waste.
The consultation included an impact assessment for each of the items that will fall under the ban, and states that the ban will only apply in England.
Alongside the consultation, Defra put out a call for evidence on other sources of common plastic pollution, such as wet wipes, tobacco filters, sachets, cigarette filters and single-use cups. The outcome of the call for evidence will be published alongside the consultation response.
The Financial Times also reported that insiders believe Defra will encourage the use of biodegradable plastic alternatives to replace the banned single-use items. A UCL study recently found that the public is ‘confused about the meaning of the labels of compostable and biodegradable plastics’.