Five Steps To Reducing Single Use Plastic

Up to 12 million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans each year. Residues of plastic are routinely found in fish, seabirds and marine mammals and last week it emerged that plastics have even been discovered in creatures living seven miles beneath the sea.

Lucy Young
Plastic fishing on recycled boat the Poly-Mer to remove plastic litter from London’s Docklands

Responding to this depressing situation, Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to make a Budget announcement calling for evidence on whether a tax on the most environmentally damaging single-use plastics would help. Such political leadership is welcomed, but is it sufficient? What are the five steps that need to be taken to fully address the problem?

1) Reduce and reuse

We need to reduce the amount of unnecessary single-use plastics. Campaign groups have started by targeting specific products such as plastic straws, which has already led to Wetherspoons committing to remove plastic straws from their pubs by January 2018. Councils including Fort Myers Beach Council in Florida are also banning straws and it is likely that they will be leading a growing momentum for change across society.

Promoting reusable containers needs to be at the core of this…

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