SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAN: Consultation NOW open
One last push to get the most polluting single-use plastic items banned
We’re not going to lie, we’re pretty excited about our latest CAMPAIGN WIN! In 2019 the EU passed the EU Single-Use Directive which included a provision to ban some of the most polluting single-use items. This came into force in July 2021. At this point, we had heard nothing from the government about their plans and so we launched a petition and dubbed their lack of action a “dereliction of Brexit promises”.
After over 100,000 of you signed the petition, DEFRA has FINALLY launched a consultation that will do exactly that. Having already banned straws, cotton buds and coffee stirrers, they are now consulting on banning single-use cutlery, plates and polystyrene cups.
You helped to make this happen. This is people power in action
With the consultation now open, we need to make sure that our voices are heard, and the government have no excuses for watering down their promises, or creating loop holes in what they deliver. We need your help to get this over the line.
We need as many of our supporters as possible to fill in the consultation to send a clear message to government. We’ve teamed up with our friends at 38 Degrees to make the process as simple as possible. It will take less than 5 minutes.
What is a consultation anyway?
OK, so what does opening ‘a consultation’ actually mean? Good question! A consultation is a big part of the process to introduce new legislation. It is OUR chance to let the Government know what we think of their plans for a future bit of legislation.
This latest consultation is a particularly important one – it covers the banning of some of the most polluting single-use plastic items and its important our voices are heard loud and clear. They declare that it makes them “world-leading”. Sadly, for our planet, this is far from the truth. What they are proposing is the very bare minimum and does little to answer our concerns about their wider efforts to tackle plastic pollution.
We know that government consultations can be hard to digest, so working with 38 Degrees, we’ve created a simple form to fill out that will then be sent to DEFRA in response to their consultation.
To make this even easier, we’ve created a simple guide with some “template” answers or pointers for some of the more complicated & specific questions.
So what’s actually in THE CONSULTATION?
There is a lot to celebrate in the proposals set out in the consultation. It is looking to ban some of the most polluting single-use plastic items and bring England in line with the rest of Europe (who have already banned these items as part of the EU Single-Use Directive). Importantly it also proposes to ban bio-based biodegradable and compostable plastics. This is something we have been raising the alarm about for a while.
However, the current proposal suggests that these measures come in from 2023. This is way too late. The industry was given a two-year notice in 2019 when the EU agreed the EU Single-Use Directive. Even Scotland’s delayed adoption of these measures will be in place by June 2022 (a year after the rest of the EU). There is no excuse for kicking the can down the road for another few years and creating a mountain of completely avoidable waste in the meantime.
We have a plastic problem
The problem is huge. Thinking about JUST the items we’re calling on an immediate ban on, every year, England makes its way through a mind-blowing:
- 1 billion single-use plates
- 25 billion items of single-use cutlery
- 475 million cups and 679 million boxes, trays, cones, and pots made from expanded and extruded polystyrene
It is no wonder that these are some of the most polluting items most found on our beaches and in our rivers and oceans. And every year the government delays the ban, we’re creating, using and disposing of around 7 BILLION completely pointless and avoidable pieces of plastic.
Together we can stop ALL of this plastic pollution by making sure they are banned as soon as possible. If enough of us respond to the consultation, the government will be left with no doubt – banning these polluting items is what the public wants.
The banning of some of the most polluting single-use plastic is hugely welcome. Almost 100,000 people signed our petition earlier this year calling on Government to take urgent action and we’re pleased to see the public’s concerns being taken seriously. There is a long journey ahead in tackling plastic pollution, but this is a positive and important first step.
There are still big questions for this government to answer. We still need to know what their strategy for tackling plastic pollution is. Without answers to these questions we are still tinkering around the edges.
One last push
We’re not resting on our laurels yet, if COP26 was anything to go by, we know that grand announcements, don’t always translate into meaningful policy changes!
With the consultation now open, we need to make sure that our voices are heard and the government have no excuses for watering down their promises or creating loopholes in what they deliver.
We need your help to get this over the line. We need as many of our supporters to fill in the consultation to send a clear message to the government. It will take less than 5 minutes.