There is a wide range of firms swapping to other packaging materials which are possibly worse for the environment, then standard packing materials. For instance, glass bottles are actually heavier than plastic making them more detrimental to the environment when being transported around the world. Furthermore, paper bags usually have even higher carbon emissions than plastic bags and are harder to recycle.
Changing packaging options has been a high concern with the potential impact of plastic waste in the oceans. A number of supermarkets have actually began selling more drinks in cartons under the impression that they’ll be recycled, whereas Green Alliance has reported that the UK only has the facilities to recycle a third of the containers in circulation.
Over 80% of people believe biodegradable plastics are environmentally friendly. Despite this there is not much understanding of what the term means and how the material should be properly dealt with. A number of retailers are very worried with the confusion of the situation. Potentially, biodegradable plastics can harm the environment if people mix compostable plastics in with conventional plastics! Many companies that are trying to use this type of plastic have also implied that this material did not break down as expected in standard conditions.
Ministers across the country have said that all businesses will require to pay for 100% of costs when dealing with the material when it finally becomes waste. To put this into perspective, it’s currently around 10%.
More information on these topics is to be expected later in the year. The timeline for the implementation is still unclear, and we’re still waiting for the government to confirm if the deposit return will apply with every container size.
In addition to this the government has also partly banned microbeads, plastic straws and stirrers with cotton buds is planned to be banned in later this year.
The ban on polystyrene has is also in discussion as the Treasury has made promises to finally introduce tax on plastic packaging that does not have 30% recycled content.
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