“The solution to plastic waste is better plastics, not banning shapes”, says IEA expert


In the Media

Mark Littlewood writes in The Times

In the Media

Christopher Snowdon writes for Spiked!

Commenting on the introduction of a new single-use plastic ban in England, IEA Chief Operating Officer Andy Mayer, said:

“The solution to plastic waste is better plastics, not banning shapes. Single use Plastics are inherently useful, they’re lighter and stronger than most alternatives, reduce food waste, ensure medical hygiene, and improve productivity for people on the go.

“Pollution from plastic waste is a real issue, but can be resolved through the development of bio-based and biodegradable plastics, freely and quickly compostable in the environment or refuse facilities.

“Bans limit such change, discouraging investment and offshoring innovation. They can also be ineffective. The Government is not seeking to ban materials, but particular uses in particular settings.

“A flat sheet of plastic will be legal, but a plate shape in a restaurant will be banned. A plastic spike will be legal but not a fork. Both however will be legal in takeaways. It is still unclear whether you risk jail for improper provision of a plastic spoon. There is no news yet on the fate of balloon sticks, a subject of last year’s consultation, we can only assume the threat to the environment from clowns, proper ones at least, is limited.

“Social pressure for companies to adopt less harmful materials is already strong. If more is required a wiser path would be to let alternatives emerge through choice and taxes on materials, rather than plastic prohibition.”


Notes to editors

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