Is Banning Plastic the Answer?

Banning Plastic

With the UK target set to recycle 65% of urban waste by 2035, and the estimation that still over half what ends up in the bin could be recycled or composted, is the recent push to ban plastic really the answer to worldwide environmental problems?

There’s no denying that we as a country contribute our fair share of plastic waste, not only internally, but to other countries via trade. With China’s recent ban on “foreign garbage”, it’s obvious that something major needs to change, and fast, but is banning it going to jeopardise UK businesses? Over the past year we’ve seen a number of corporates, most recently Asda, reducing plastic in their own brand packaging – but what does this mean for the companies who were encouraged to produce recyclable plastic in the first place?

Not that long ago we were all led to believe that the answer to plastic waste was in the recovery and recycling, and now we’re told that banning it is the best solution; is this because the original advice was wrong, or because our government haven’t followed through on their end of the deal. The public have been forced to uphold their end of the deal, with all households now using recycling bins with fines levied if these are not used, but where is the investment in modern recycling methods from the government’s end?

The UK Recycling Association have already stated that the UK cannot deal with the waste that was previously being sent to China (55% of paper, 25% plus of plastics); surely this should have been foreseen before the blow was dealt. Environment Secretary Michael Gove has even admitted that he was slow to see this coming, and UK recycling charity Recoup have highlighted concerns that this imports ban will lead to incineration and landfill, which is already a big problem!

In addition, how many UK businesses have implemented strategies and new products around recycling plastics? Here at Hydropac, we’re proud that we’ve always been eco-leaders and 99% of our product range can be 100% recycled by end users. Only our polystyrene boxes need to be returned to source for recycling. We’ve built our business around this ethos, knowing we’ve always done our best for the environment, so now to be told that our plastic products should ideally be banned altogether is a bit of a blow. Whilst we will continue to develop our product range to be as eco-friendly and recyclable as possible, inherently the plastics we do use are an integral part of how successful our products are for our customers.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re not against decreasing the amount of plastic being produced and we’re all for encouraging recycling and reuse of end products. There’s no escaping the fact that the globe has a plastics problem and we’re fully on board with trying to do our bit and protect the environment and world we live in. That being said, the last thing we want to do is provide our customers with ineffective products, as we can no longer use the recyclable plastic materials that previously we’ve been encouraged to invest in and develop.
We would be really interested in your thoughts and how you may be affected?

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