The UK government has announced plans to ban single-use plastic utensils in England as part of a sweeping environmental bill that aims to tackle plastic pollution.
The bill, which has received new amendments since it was last passed through Parliament in May, aims to “clean up the country’s air, restore natural habitats and increase biodiversity”.
One of the provisions aims to reduce waste and plastic waste by eliminating the use of single-use plastic forks, knives and spoons – a move that environmental activists say is not enough.
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“We need the government to go much, much, much further, we are facing a plastic crisis and we have to turn off the tap,” said Jo Morely of the City to Sea campaign group. “We’re really facing an environmental crisis, our oceans are full of plastic, and they’re killing marine life, they’re damaging our ecosystems, and they’re actually threatening human health.”
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already presented plans to ban these plastics, and the European Union added a similar ban in July, the BBC reported.
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On average, each person in England uses 18 single-use plastic plates and 37 single-use utensils each year, the government has determined.
“We need the government to take a holistic approach to say that what we’re going to do is stop all plastic pollution, and what we’re going to do is drastically reduce the amount of all products in use. unique, not just a fork followed by a spoon followed by a cup, ”Morely said.
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More than a million birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals and turtles die each year from eating or becoming entangled in plastic waste, according to Sky News.
“We have all seen the damage plastic does to our environment,” Environment Secretary George Eustice said. “It is right that we put in place measures that will tackle the plastic that is carelessly strewn in our parks and green spaces and washed up on the beaches.”
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“These plans will help us eliminate the unnecessary use of plastics that wreak havoc on our natural environment.”
Other efforts to reduce plastic waste include banning microbeads, reducing the number of plastic bags, and restrictions on single-use straws, stirrers and cotton swabs.
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