The plastic knives and forks you typically get with your takeaways are history.
The same goes for polystyrene cups, trays and plastic balloon sticks. This is because, on Sunday, a ban came into force throughout England to stop businesses from giving out single-use plastic items to people.
‘Single-use’ means you only use it once, then throw it away. In England alone, it’s said that 2.7 billion pieces of mostly plastic cutlery and 721 million single-use plates are used every year. They usually can’t be recycled, so they end up in landfill sites where waste is dumped, taking hundreds of years to break down.
Rebecca Pow, the Government’s Environment Minister, says this latest ban on cutlery and containers will “protect the environment… stopping plastic pollution dirtying our streets and threatening our wildlife.”
Greenpeace UK says the ban doesn’t go far enough because some things are still allowed, like the plastic trays or bowls that shops use for ready meals.