A petition by City to Sea, 38 Degrees, and Greenpeace that calls for the most polluting single-use plastic items to be banned in the UK has received more than 117,000 signatures.
The call to ban items such as plastic cutlery, plates and polystyrene food packaging comes in the wake of public pressure on UK environment secretary George Eustice to take a more proactive approach to tackling plastic waste.
The UK government closed its consultation on the issue at the weekend, with some 51,000 members of the public participating in this consultation process.
Almost all (96%) back a ban on all the items being considered, while close to two thirds (64%) say that the ban should kick in sooner than the planned April 2023 start date.
Scotland is due to introduce a comparable ban by June 2022 and members of the European Union were expected to have a ban in place by July 2021.
“There’s no doubt about it - this is an absolutely massive show of public support for finally banning these unnecessary and polluting plastic items," commented Megan Bentall, head of campaigns at 38 Degrees. “The fact that more than 50,000 people have taken the time to participate in a detailed government consultation on this issue is the clearest demonstration yet that we are simply done with these plastic items polluting our environment.
“The government has no choice but to listen. And they should respond with a quicker, more ambitious plan.”
The petition was submitted jointly by plastic pollution campaigners City to Sea, campaign group 38 Degrees, and environmental NGO Greenpeace, as part of the #CutTheCutlery campaign.