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A Giant Leap away from Single-use Plastics

A giant leap away from single-use plastics occurred this month.

On 3 July the EU Single-use Plastics Directive came into force. It bans many of the most polluting plastic items. Included on the red list are plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers, along with balloon and earbud sticks. The new law also bans polystyrene containers.

The directive notes that there are more sustainable options available to replace the banned products. Naturally we agree – there are lots of great reusable and compostable options available.

Plastic free takeaway food packaging
Plastic free takeaway food packaging: paper, bamboo, recycled sugarcane fibre and plant-starches are just some of the natural materials used to make environmentally friendly compostable and recyclable food packaging. While some products look like plastic, they are actually made from low carbon and non-toxic plant starch and can be fully composted after use.

It is fitting that this landmark directive comes into force this month. July ’21 marks the 10th anniversary of Plastic Free July, which has now mushroomed into one of the largest global environmental campaigns. Participants – of which there are millions around the world – commit to living plastic free for the month. They give up single-use plastic either entirely or partially. Better still, many plastic-free habits and shifts in awareness become long lasting. This amplifies the positive effect well beyond July.

Thankfully, it’s getting easier to avoid plastic. A big shout out to all the restaurants, canteens, cafes, hotels and shops using compostable packaging. The past fews years have also seen some fantastic plastic free shops open their doors, together with plastic free aisles and delivery options.

Determined consumers are driving this change away from damaging products and towards a healthier system. We’ve still got a lot of work to do… but we’re making big, positive strides.

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