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July 14, 2022

NLWA calls for immediate ban on unrecyclable plastics in UK

UK households were recently found to dispose of 100 billion pieces of plastic packaging every year, with just 12% being recycled.

The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) in London, UK, has called on the UK Government to ‘urgently’ ban more single-use plastics and introduce a charge on coffee cups.

In a statement, the NLWA said that several plastics such as soft plastics and items made of composite materials, including takeaway coffee cups, are not recyclable.

The organisation has also called on the government to legislate the overproduction of tricky-to-recycle plastics.

A recent survey by non-government organisations Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic found that UK households dispose of 100 billion pieces of plastic packaging every year, only 12% of which are recycled.

The UK has already implemented a ban on plastic straws, stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds, but the NLWA wants this to be extended to unnecessary flexible plastic over fruit and vegetables, takeaway polystyrene containers, plastic cutlery and plates for starter dishes.

In addition, the group has called for a £0.50 ($0.59) charge on coffee cups, which feature unrecyclable plastic lining, ‘without delay’.

The move aims to enable more people to switch to reusable cups instead of non-recyclable coffee cups, 2.5 billion of which are discarded by UK customers each year.

NLWA chair Cllr Clyde Loakes said: “No one needs fossil-fuel-based plastic smothering broccoli or plastic nets for oranges.

“It’s vital that the UK cuts down on unnecessary waste that can’t be recycled or reused.

“And the best way to tackle unecological waste is not once it ends up in the bin but at the very beginning – manufacturers should not produce it at all and focus instead on sustainable alternatives.”

Founded in 1986, the NLWA is the second largest waste authority in London.

Last August, the UK Government announced a public consultation on the proposed ban on a range of single-use plastic items.

The proposal was part of the government’s efforts to eliminate plastic waste in the country by the end of 2042.

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