Is plastic the new fur?
With plastic protests around the country and a proposed ban on cotton buds, is plastic becoming the ‘new fur’?
We’ve all been there. You’re going through the checkout at the supermarket, and you need to ask for 5p bags.
The shop assistant rings them through silently, and it feels like everyone queuing behind you is giving you ‘plastic shaming’ looks.
But it hasn’t always been this way. In 2014 – the year before the 5p plastic bag charge was introduced – people in England got through the equivalent of 140 single-use carrier bags each per year.
Now we each use about 25 bags a year – a reduction of a phenomenal six billion bags since the charge was introduced in October 2015.
And it’s not just bags we’re shunning. Single-use plastics are now a no-no, from straws in cocktails, to plastic forks and water bottles. In April, the government proposed a ban on plastic straws and cotton buds in England, and now the EU is in favour of a ban on all single-use plastics. Network Rail has also pledged to ban plastic cutlery and cups from the retail outlets housed in the 20 train stations it manages across the UK by 2020. Although, there has been a backlash against the plastic straw ban with the suggestion it disadvantages disabled people.
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