The subject of waste generated by single-use plastic is a worry for people from all walks of life as is evident from the response received by the UK government to its call to the public. Many of them have supported tough action against this menace which has paved the way for the authorities to consider imposing taxes on products like coffee cups. It could be similar to the charges for plastic bags and be an incentive for recycling.

The Guardian reports that the government has banned some products and is considering proposals to expand the scope of surcharges on plastic bags.

It is also exploring other methods like separating products based on plastic packaging and non-plastic packaging. These would be displayed separately in outlets like the supermarkets.

No place for single-use plastic

Beaches are littered with single-use plastic. During a cleanup operation on a beach in Cornwall, an official of the Treasury remarked that “tackling the scandal of plastic pollution is one of our top priorities and we know the public is right behind us.” The intention is to preserve the environment.

Surfers Against Sewage is involved in the cleanup operation and they admit that the public is in favor of introducing suitable methods to check plastic pollution in the environment. Greenpeace also feels the government should impose taxes on such plastic, give incentive to products that are made from recycled ones, and promote recycling instead of incineration.

The world is beginning to realize the magnitude of the problem and say ‘no’ to throwaway type plastic products. Plastic may be more convenient but are potential threats to survival.

Plastic pollution cannot be wished away

According to The BBC, the Environmental Audit Committee revealed some startling figures related to single-use plastic.

It seems nearly 2.5bn items were discarded annually and Committee chairwomen Mary Creagh had admitted that very few of them get recycled. She blamed the government and pointed out that producers and distributors have not risen to the challenge.

Friends of the Earth have welcomed the response by the public. There is greater awareness among the public and a combined effort can reverse the trend and save the environment. It is necessary to have a multipronged attack like imposing taxes, promote recycling and rewarding those who shun such products. The tons of plastic waste that end up in the oceans destroy marine lives and need to be checked so that the environment is protected for future generations.