The last straw

On 24th October 2018, the European Parliament voted against disposable plastic which means that by 2021, disposable plastic products such as straws, plates, cutlery, cotton buds, drink mixers and balloon sticks (which together make up 70% of marine litter) must be completely replaced by ecological solutions, such as biodegradable or edible cutlery.

This anti-plastic movement is extremely important. 320 million tons of plastic are produced every year and, unfortunately, the plastics we throw away end up in landfill and the natural environment. Plastics don’t fully degrade, they just erode into smaller pieces called microplastics which contain toxins which can kill or maim sea creatures when ingested. Uneroded plastic debris can also destroy marine habitats and cause bodily harm to animals.

One of the campaigns which has arisen in support of this vote is the ‘No more straws’ movement, which plans to reduce the use of plastic straws globally. Brands jumping on board include McDonald’s, All Bar One, Wetherspoons, Pizza Express, Costa Coffee and Pret a Manger, whilst some major supermarkets such as Waitrose, Iceland and Morrisons are also making a move to eliminate plastic in the packaging of their products.

But what can you do to free the world from plastic? Here are a few easy ways you can help:

•    Bring your own shopping bag
•    Carry a reusable water bottle
•    Bring your own coffee cup
•    Pack lunch in reusable containers
•    Say no to disposable straws and cutlery
•    Skip plastic produce bags
•    Dine in instead of getting a takeaway
•    Store leftovers in glass jars.

To find out more visit www.lessplastic.co.uk