Environment Secretary, George Eustice, has announced that the UK Government is considering introducing a ban on polluting plastics across England, in a bid to encourage businesses and consumers to make use of sustainable alternatives.
Due to the ever-increasing disposal at landfill, future policies are also being considered – such as the introduction of mandatory labelling on packaging to ‘help consumers dispose of these items correctly.’
Plastics recycling member-based charity, RECOUP, has published its 2021 UK Household Plastics Collection Survey, which analyses the collection of plastics for recycling from local authorities.
It is estimated that 584,000 tonnes of household plastic waste were collected for recycling in 2020 – a 4% increase on collection quantities compared to 2019 – despite the challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit.
Many people think that simply replacing plastic for paper means that it’s better for the environment, but this isn’t always necessarily the case – PET bottles are more lightweight and easier to recycle then heavier, harder-to-recycle paper.
In fact, Alaska Airlines recently announced it was replacing single-use plastic waster bottles on its flight with paper cups and boxed water cartons.
The image of the plastic industry is often a rather negative one, but it shouldn’t be. Recycling isn’t the problem, rather it’s how consumers view plastic material.
To encourage the use of refillable drinking bottles, water filling stations have recently been installed in three towns in Somerset to help reduce the number of single-use plastic bottles being consumed.
Refilling stations can be found in Wellington, Taunton, and Minehead seafront.
Supermarket giant Tesco has recently announced its launch of a refillable line of cleaning products, which could help save up to 60 million pieces of plastic per year.
The new range of own-brand spray bottles can be reused by mixing Tesco dissolvable capsules with water to make a new cleaning solution. With UK households currently using over 70 million cleaning sprays every year, the retailer hopes the new range will help change the way customers purchase cleaning products and hopes eco-friendly alternatives will continue to become more mainstream.