The UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is assessing the environmental and economic impact of a potential ban on plastic cutlery and plates.
The move is part of the government’s plans to reduce the impact of plastic waste on the environment.
Earlier this year, the government made a proposal to ban cotton buds, plastic straws and drink stirrers.
As part of the plans to reduce the impact of plastic waste, consultations on the proposed introduction of a deposit return scheme for disposable bottles are also ongoing.
Another measure recently enforced by the government is a ban on the sale of products containing microbeads.
Defra has announced a £19,000 contract for investigating the impact of introducing a legislative ban on plastic plates and cutlery.
Defra spokesperson said: “Single use plastics, including plastic plates, plastic cutlery and plastic balloon sticks may have significant negative impacts on the general environment when they are discarded after use.
“The government wishes to assess what the economic impacts of introducing regulations banning these items in England would be and weighing these impacts against the resultant environmental benefits.”
In May this year, the European Commission unveiled plans to ban single-use cutlery, plates, straws, cotton buds, drink-stirrers and balloon sticks by 2021 in an effort to curb marine pollution.
Reportedly, suppliers will be asked to assess ‘the impact on businesses, both domestic manufacturers and those that either use or sell them, including imported plastics; and the costs of using alternative materials for these products.’