Single-use plastics has been a hot topic this year. David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II has really brought the problem of single use plastics to the fore in the UK.
Meanwhile back in October the European Parliament emphatically backed (by 571 votes to 53) the European Commission’s proposed directive to ‘clampdown’ on the 10 most commonly found categories of single use plastics products found on European beaches. Details on the directive are published here.
The UK Government are making some commitments toward reducing single use plastics. Currently that mainly appears to be via plans to tax plastics that have less than 30% recycled material. The Budget claimed that the government is pursuing “a package of measures closely coordinated across government, that will deliver a sustained reduction in single-use plastics, without placing undue burden on businesses or consumers.“. This was stated in the Budget 2018 Single-use Plastics Factsheet. I suspect that there’s more rhetoric than commitment from the current government, with all their Brexit debacle distraction. Fortunately if consumer sentiment persists at the current level, that is likely to have more impact on the end of single-use plastics.
We will all have to adjust to a life with more considered use of plastics. The one single-use plastic innovation that I am struggling to see an alternative to, is plastic dental floss applicators. Prior to these becoming available I’ve really struggled to use dental floss. Fortunately dental floss applicators are not on the EU hit list, according to their factsheet, so I’m OK for now; hopefully someone will invent a suitable alternative.