The EU is banning single-use plastic in cafes
it’s our #TimeToKetchup

The EU is banning single-use plastic packaging in cafes and restaurants by 2030. The UK hasn’t even started studying this idea. We think it’s #TimeToKetchup

Earlier this month, we launched a new petition calling for a complete ban on ALL single-use packaging in eat-in settings like restaurants, cafes and bars. It’s already got 25,000 signatures. And, at the same time, the EU institutions have come to an agreement that will see, among many other things, a ban on single-use plastics in cafes and restaurants starting from 2030.  

France have done it, so why can’t we? 

We think this is a huge result, especially considering the intensity of the corporate lobbying against these key environmental measures. When France announced their own legislation (that came into force in 2023) stating any restaurant with more than 20 seats – including work canteens, bakery chains, fast-food and sushi outlets – will have to provide reusable, washable cups, plates, dishes and cutlery for customers eating in, there was a big corporate push back. We saw McDonalds launch their “no silver bullet” campaign in response.  

But, thanks to the hard work of campaigners, the 30,000 fast-foodoutlets in France that serve approximately 6 billion meals a year – and who were generating an estimated 180,000 tonnes of waste – now have to use reusable packaging! A huge win for the environment – and we think the impact in the UK could be even bigger! 

Setting the standard for banning single-use 

While it’s a promising start, the new EU wide rules still fall well short of what we and other environmentalists are calling for. As our friends at the Rethink Plastic Alliance say, “It is especially disappointing that the scope of restrictions for unnecessary packaging are limited only to single-use plastics and not to all single-use formats as foreseen in the original proposal (including single-use paper-based packaging).” In other words, it’s not enough to only ban single-use plastics. 

Here in the UK, we don’t just want to be playing catch up with our European neighbours. We want to be setting the standard. The British Government has already committed to removing all avoidable plastics by 2042. Yet despite this, there hasn’t even been a feasibility study for this ban published here. If they really are serious about eliminating pointless plastics, this ban is one of the easiest and most obvious steps the government can take to tackle the plastic crisis. 

As it stands, the rest of Europe is banning single-use plastics while we drag our feet once again. Will you sign to help us tell the government it’s #TimetoKetchup? 

Help our petition reach more people by donating to support our political advocacy work

City to Sea has a proud history of calling for change as part of our wider campaign strategy and political advocacy is a central part of our theory of change.  Oceans and waterways around the world urgently need our help and we’re hugely grateful to our supporters for donating to City to Sea. Our donations go directly to our campaigns, powering on-the-ground community action, lobbying governments and creating powerful, playful content designed to inspire change.  

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