Single use plastics
Published date: 1 October 2020

NLWA Chair calls for urgent government action as ban is introduced

Timely action needed on waste and recycling in Government’s Environment Bill

The Chair of North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has today (1 October) called for the Government to do more to tackle the Climate Emergency as the ban on some single-use plastics comes into force.

Cllr Clyde Loakes addressed the problems faced by waste collection and disposal authorities in a letter to George Eustice MP on the eve of the Conservative Party Conference.

Cllr Loakes, said: “We welcome the ban on single-use plastics but there’s an urgent need to go much further if we’re to find a more sustainable way to deal with our waste and recycling, and tackle the Climate Emergency.”

While plastic cotton buds, straws and stirrers have been banned in England, many other single-use items such as single-use coffee cups, lids and polystyrene take-away containers are unaffected. It was also recently announced that a higher plastic bag charge would not be introduced until April 2021.

He added: “The Government must go further and extend the list to include other problematic and avoidable items. We routinely see non-recyclable single-use items contaminating recyclable material. This comes at a financial cost to our taxpayers that runs into the millions.”

While local authorities may be asked to fine businesses who flout the rule on banned items, councils currently have very limited powers to enforce correct recycling.

The Chair concludes: “NLWA delivers an extensive programme of activity designed to support residents to waste less and recycle more. But without the introduction of compulsory recycling, accompanied by real powers for local authorities, we won’t see the progress on recycling rates that residents, local authorities, and the environment, so desperately need."