The UK Government has made some small steps in reducing plastic use but distracted by COVID, has not made many of the logical steps needed to reduce plastic use in the United Kingdom.
Thanks to the excellent survey work by Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic they estimate that the UK throws out nearly 100 billion pieces of plastic each year.
What we throw away is exported or burnt in incinerators that do, at least, generate energy.
However, it is not good enough and unforgivable that we are still exporting it!
For some time, the UK Government has talked about a Deposit Return Scheme for plastic containers/bottles. The industry wants it, Government has dragged its feet.
The other initiative urgently required is Extended Producer Responsibility which forces the industry that continues to produce single-use plastic to pay, upfront, for the cost of its disposal. The public wants it, Government has dragged its feet.
The other piece of work, which frankly Government cannot fit into its agenda, is for there to be great manufacture of products using recycled plastic eg new plastic containers. Where the Government is helping is the encouragement of research and initiatives that do this through research grants. These take time BUT it is happening and we need to highlight how industry and academia are working together to create this new industry.
We have achieved commendable outcomes for cardboard and paper why not plastic!
Come on Government this is important and urgent, the problem is so much else also is!
More details at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-62126757