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This week a new poll revealed eight-in-ten of Britons want the UK Government to prioritise making refillable products easier to buy in a bid to reduce plastic pollution. The poll, commissioned by City to Sea in partnership with Friends of the Earth, found the biggest barrier for people looking to act against plastic was a lack of alternatives.

A new study from scientists found plastic items from takeaway food and drink dominate the litter in the world’s oceans, with single-use bags, plastic bottles, food containers and food wrappers the four most widespread items polluting the seas.

In more positive news, Unilever is expanding trials of refillable packaging across the UK in a bid to cut back on unnecessary plastic packaging.

As always, we hope you enjoy reading.

John Higginson
Editor-in-Chief
Plastic Free Post

Poll finds eight-in-ten support refillables to tackle plastic

Eight-in-ten of Britons, 81percent, want the UK Government to prioritise making refillable products easier to buy as its main strategy for reducing plastic pollution, according to a new pollThe new research, released to mark World Refill Day and commissioned by City to Sea in partnership with Friends of the Earth, found that almost 80 percent of people are taking steps to reduce single-use plastic and two thirds, 63 percent, want to do more. The poll found that the biggest barrier to individuals taking more action was reported to be a lack of alternatives to single-use plastic and over half of Britons, 55 percent, think that supermarkets and big-name brands are not doing enough to address plastic pollution.

Read more here.

Takeaway food and drink litter dominates ocean plastic, study shows

Plastic items from takeaway food and drink dominate the litter in the world’s oceans, according to the most comprehensive study to date. Single-use bags, plastic bottles, food containers and food wrappers are the four most widespread items polluting the seas, making up almost half of the human-made waste, the researchers found. Just 10 plastic products, also including plastic lids and fishing gear, accounted for three-quarters of the litter, due to their widespread use and extremely slow degradation. The scientists said identifying the key sources of ocean plastic made it clear where action was needed to stop the stream of litter at its source. They called for bans on some common throwaway items and for producers to be made to take more responsibility.

Read more here.

WA accelerates ban on single-use coffee cups in plastics blitz

Single-use plastic coffee cups and lids will be phased out by the end of next year in Western Australia as the government fast-tracks its plastics plan. Single-use plastic bowls, cups, plates, cutlery, stirrers, straws, polystyrene food containers, thick plastic bags and helium balloon releases will be phased out by the end of 2021 in stage one. Stage two, now to be completed by the end of 2022, includes plastic barrier and produce bags, cotton buds with plastic shafts, polystyrene packaging, microbeads and oxo-degradable plastics and will also include takeaway coffee cups and lids with single-use plastic materials.

Read more here.

Unilever unveils new UK refillable packaging trials

Unilever is expanding trials of refillable packaging across the UK in a bid to cut back on unnecessary plastics packaging. Unilever will launch new trials of refillable and reusable products, where shoppers can select pre-filled returnable and reusable stainless-steel bottles to house well-known brands including Persil, Simple, Radox and Alberto Balsam. The refill options build on its largest European trials at Asda’s “sustainability store” in Leeds. Feedback from the trials found that 94 percent of consumers in the UK are more likely to invest in refills compared to buying new products, while 89 percent would purchase a product if the packaging could be reused.

Read more here.

Research finds new plant protein substitute for fossil fuel plastic

A plant protein with the same functionality as plastic that could serve as a fossil fuel free alternative has been discovered by scientists at the University of Cambridge. The breakthrough discovery was published in the renowned Nature Communications journal and detailed research led by Professor Tuomas Knowles at the University of Cambridge Knowles Lab.  The plant protein, which the researchers say could serve as a fossil fuel free alternative to single-use plastic, requires no chemical additives and decomposes naturally in the environment. It is also a by-product of the agricultural industry, meaning it can be returned safely back to the soil after use.

Read more here.

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