Following the UK ban on single-use plastics, Warwickshire residents will see less single-use plastic being used across the county and are being encouraged to reduce their own plastic and food waste.
On Sunday 1 October 2023, new legislation came into effect that has banned a range of single-use plastic items, as well as imposing strict restrictions on the supply of others. Plastic cutlery, balloon sticks and polystyrene cups can no longer be sold by any business, regardless of their industry, and the supply of single-use plastic plates, trays and bowls are now restricted.
Given the damage that single-use plastics can do to the environment, Warwickshire County Council welcomes this new ban and wants to encourage residents to consider how they could make changes that will reduce both their plastic and food waste while saving them money at the same time.
One of the easy things that we can do to reduce the waste from single-use items is to have our own re-useable and refillable options when we are out and about. To help, the Refill App shows all of the local retailers where you can take refillable cups for coffee, or bottles for water, or containers for groceries.
The other thing that we can all do to reduce single-use plastic and save money is make sure that we are not creating avoidable food waste. Every time we throw away a packet of salad or ham, the packaging has gone to waste as well as the precious food inside.
Following a survey on the contents of Warwickshire waste bins, the Council found that nearly 35% was food waste and half of that was avoidable food waste that could have been eaten..
Families can save hundreds of pounds a year by making sure they only buy what they need and then eating all that they buy. Checking stocks and planning meals before writing a shopping list is a great way to make sure they are not tempted to buy too much at the shops. Storing food carefully, measuring portions and getting creative with leftovers will also help to minimise avoidable food waste and save on household bills.
More information on reducing food waste can be found on the Warwickshire climate emergency website: https://www.warwickshireclimateemergency.org.uk/warwickshireclimateemergency/resources-waste-circular-economy-3/reduce-food-waste
Residents can further contribute to the reduction in worldwide plastics by ditching pre-packaged fresh produce and choosing loose fruit and vegetables instead; switching to loose-leaf tea or a tea-bag brand that doesn’t contain plastic; saying ‘no thank you!’ to cheap plastic giveaways; switching to bars of soap and shampoo that last longer than bottles and using local zero-waste shops to stock up on cupboard staples – less packaging and less plastic!
Cllr Heather Timms, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Environment Climate and Culture, said: “At Warwickshire County Council, we wholeheartedly welcome and support this new ban on single-use plastic items. This is the pragmatic next big step in the mission to crack down on harmful plastic waste. This will protect the environment and help to cut litter – stopping plastic pollution dirtying our streets, rivers and oceans and threatening our wildlife and biodiversity.
“The sheer scale of our planet’s plastic problem is staggering and complicated. When faced with such large numbers it’s easy to just assume that you won’t be able to make a difference through your own actions, but this could not be further from the truth.
“As with the so many elements of the climate and environmental emergency that currently face our planet, there is a lot of little things that individuals can do to make a big difference. I would urge anyone who is able to try some of our tips for reducing plastic use this Autumn and together we can continue to strive for a Warwickshire that is sustainable now and for future generations.”
Find out more about waste and recycling on the Warwickshire website: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/recycling
For more information about how Warwickshire County Council is facing the challenges of the climate change emergency, visit: https://www.warwickshireclimateemergency.org.uk/
To sign-up to the Warwickshire County Council climate change and sustainability newsletter, visit: www.eepurl.com/hrk-zf