England will ban single-use plastic plates and cutlery for environmental reasons
Author: Rachel Treisman
The British government is poised to ban certain single-use plastic products, a long-awaited step towards reducing pollution that environmentalists hope will be just one of many. The ban will cover plastic plates, trays, bowls, cutlery, balloon sticks and certain kinds of polystyrene cups and food s, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) told The Mail on January 9, 2023. A department spokesperson confirmed to NPR that the full announcement is coming on January 14, 2023. "A plastic fork can take 200 years to decompose - that is two centuries in landfill or polluting our oceans," Environment Secretary Therese Coffey told The Mail. "This new ban will have a huge impact to stop the pollution of billions of pieces of plastic and help to protect the natural environment for future generations." England banned single-use plastic straws, stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds in 2020. This new ban applies specifically to plastic packaging of food and drinks from restaurants and cafes, not in supermarkets and stores. The government plans to address those in a separate scheme that would have manufacturers cover disposal costs starting in 2024. Environmental advocates are applauding England's ban as an important step towards tackling the pervasive problem of plastic pollution, even if it's not enough on its own.