Worcester food businesses urged to cut out single-use plastics
Worcester City Council is encouraging local cafes, takeaways and restaurants to take action now in the light of Government proposals to phase out single-use plastic plates, cutlery, polystyrene cups and food and beverage containers.
According to estimates, England uses 1.1 billion single-use plates and 4.25 billion items of single-use cutlery — most of which are plastic — per year, but only 10% are recycled upon disposal.
"There is growing recognition of the damage that plastics cause to our environment and marine life in particular," said Cllr Andy Stafford, Chair of Worcester City Council's Environment Committee.
"We encourage Worcester cafes, bars and restaurants to make changes now, as the Government has signalled its intention to prohibit a much wider range of single-use plastic products in the near future."
A number of local businesses, including The Paul Pry, Taste of Portugal, Francini Café de Columbia and Waylands Yard, have already taken action and have been awarded 'Plastic Free Champion' status by the Plastic Free Worcester campaign group.
"These companies really show that moving to being Plastic Free is not only do-able but also good for business. They have championed the cause with customers, staff and suppliers and have demonstrated what can be achieved.
"We're now encouraging others to follow their lead," says Peter Robinson from the Plastic Free Worcester campaign group.
The Government recently ran a 12-week public consultation on proposals to phase out single-use plastic plates, cutlery, polystyrene cups and food and beverage containers (www.gov.uk/government/news/plans-unveiled-to-ban-single-use-plastics)
It has already banned plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds.
A plastic item used for a few minutes can persist in the environment for hundreds of years and endanger wildlife and habitats. When broken down into microplastics, it reaches our soils, waterways, ocean and food chains within them.
Starting to become a plastic-free business
Look at where you use single use plastic in your production or retail work. Pick up to three items (you can choose more, but best to be successful in a small way and then build from there) that you think could be altered, removed or replaced.