England to Expand Single-Use Plastic Ban, Will Include Trays and Cutlery

Getting takeout is easy and helpful after a long day, and it can serve as a good treat. However, it can also add onto single-use plastic pollution. England has announced steps to tackle that, making it the latest country to further chip away at plastic use.

England is set to ban some food service single-use plastics, including plates, trays, cutlery, and certain polystyrene cups and food containers. This does not apply to supermarkets and shops, though, which will be targeted under a different plastic reduction plan, the government says.


The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) says each year, people in England use a total of 1.1 billion single-use plates and 4.25 billion pieces of single-use cutlery. Most of these are plastic and only 10% of them are recycled. Officials say addressing this issue is the next step in cutting back on plastic pollution, which is part of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey says, “I am determined to drive forward action to tackle this issue head on. We’ve already taken major steps in recent years – but we know there is more to do, and we have again listened to the public’s calls.

“This new ban will have a huge impact to stop the pollution of billions of pieces of plastics and help to protect the natural environment for future generations.”


Similar measures are already in place in Scotland, with Wales implementing its own bans, as well. Meanwhile, England has already banned plastic straws, stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds.

Other countries outside the UK have been working to tackle their plastic waste, as well. France has banned plastic wrap for fruits and vegetables. Spain has taken similar steps.

Meanwhile, Canada has banned the production or import of single-use bags, cutlery, food service containers with plastics that are hard to recycle, ring carriers, stir sticks, and straws. By the end of 2023, their sale will also be banned.

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