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E&I to carry out "broad piece of work" aimed at reducing single use plastics

E&I to carry out

Thursday 23 May 2019

E&I to carry out "broad piece of work" aimed at reducing single use plastics


Securing a ban on carrier bags is Environment's priority in the fight against single-use plastics, although cotton buds, plastic straws and drink stirrers could be part of a 'a broader piece of work' aiming to reduce all plastic waste.

The UK Government announced this week that a ban will be placed on plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds with plastic stems in England with effect from April next year. Single use plates and cutlery are set to be removed from sale the following year.

Asked if the States would also ban these products, a spokesman for the Environment & Infrastructure Committee said:

"E&I recognises the importance in reducing all plastic waste; however in terms of legislating, the Committee’s first area of focus is single-use plastic carrier bags. We will be working on developing that proposal in the coming months as priority within a broader piece of work looking at single use plastics more generally." 

"However, legislation is just one policy lever, and it does take time to develop.In the meantime, though, we know that retailers are working with their supply chains to reduce plastic packaging and we also know consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their buying patterns.

"Community groups such as Plastic Free Guernsey are also working hard to raise awareness of the issues and promote pragmatic solutions. The Refill Guernsey campaign, which champions reusable water bottles, is a great example of cross-community working between government and the third sector."

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Around 10% of cotton buds are flushed down toilets, often ending up in waterways and oceans, the UK's Government has said. 

The UK's Environment Secretary Michael Gove confirmed a ban on the supply of the items from April 2020 after a consultation revealed “overwhelming” public support for the move to tackle pollution and protect the environment 

It is estimated that 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds are used each year in England.

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