Single-use plastics to be banned what impact will it have on Dorset
Litter Free Dorset supports a ban on plastic cutlery and disposable plates
An environment agency in Dorset has described the announcement that it will ban single-use plastics by the end of the year as a “major step forward”.
Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey is proposing to ban items such as plastic cutlery, disposable plates, polystyrene bowls and plastic cups, meaning 1.1 billion plates and 4.25 billion pieces of cutlery go out of production in England every year.
Although the ban on these items has been welcomed by environmentalists, some still argue that far more needs to be done.
A spokesman for Litter Free Dorset, Eimear Coyle, believes the decision to ban single-use plastics should come sooner and a target less vague than “by the end of the year”.
She said: “I would always push for faster action, but any step that starts to reduce the amount of plastic we use is fantastic.”
Single-use plastic littering is particularly high in Dorset and is the focus of conversations over the summer, Eimear adding: “Summer is the time to really step up action.”
In 2020, 425 discarded plastic items were found on every 100 meters of beach, with the BCP Council spending £1million a year removing litter from its beaches.
The BCP Council said: “Coastal councils like us are continually working to remove litter and maintain our beaches. The single-use, throw-away model means people are finding it increasingly difficult to make eco-friendly choices.”
According to DEFRA, every person in England uses 18 single-use plastic plates and 37 single-use plastic cutlery items each year.
Every piece of plastic ever made is and will be for another 500 years. Eimear noted that “plastic waste ends up killing more than 1 million birds, 100,000 marine mammals and turtles”.
Litter Free Dorset is asking people to bring their own reusable coffee cups, water bottles and, if eating takeaway on the beach, their own Tupperware and metal cutlery.
Thérèse Coffey said: “This new ban will have a huge impact in stopping pollution from billions of pieces of plastic and helping to protect the natural environment for future generations.”
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