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Dear Reader,

This week members of the House of Lords debated amendments to the UK Government’s Environment Bill, with peers calling for statutory targets to reduce production and import of plastic in the UK.  Baroness Bakewell highlighted the role of compostables in substituting for food contaminated plastic films, where recycling is difficult and expensive.

Meanwhile supermarkets have taken further steps to reduce the amount of plastic they use. Sainsbury’s has followed Aldi’s lead by announcing a ban on plastic in its own brand teabags, while Morrisons announced it will be reviving milk glass bottles in a bid to reduce plastic pollution.

As always, we hope you enjoy reading.

John Higginson
Editor-in-Chief
Plastic Free Post

Peers urge Government to back plastic reduction targets 

Peers this week called for statutory targets for reducing the import and production of plastic packaging in the UK.  In a wide ranging debate, Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville highlighted the role of compostable materials in substituting for food contaminated plastic films. Speaking during the debate on the Environment Bill, she said the Government must recognise compostable materials as part of the mix when addressing the plastic crisis, highlighting their ability to be processed in composting sites and play a role in replenishing the UK’s depleted soils.

She added that the government’s existing approach on compostable materials “is deeply frustrating to those represented by the Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries Association, including companies such as TIPA, which is investing in the UK market. It has come together with the association for renewable energy and clean technology, REA, and with anti-plastic campaigners A Plastic Planet to draw attention to the missed opportunities in the UK.”

Read more here.

Sainsbury’s follows Aldi in introducing new plastic teabag ban

Sainsbury’s has announced it will ban all plastic from its own brand teabags, just days after Aldi said it would do the same. Sainsbury’s will remove all plastic from its own brand teabags and replace it with eco-friendly materials, with the move set to be implemented as early as next month. In July, the supermarket hopes to fully switch to plant-based packaging for its branded teabags. Currently, an oil-based plastic is used to seal each individual teabag.

Read more here.

Report looks at single-use plastic products in travel and tourism

The World Travel & Tourism Council and the United Nations Environment Programme have launched a report that looks to address the issue of single-use plastic products within travel and tourism. ‘Rethinking Single-Use Plastic Products in Travel & Tourism’ launches as countries around the world begin to reopen, and the travel and tourism sector starts to show signs of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The report is a first step to mapping single-use plastic products across the travel and tourism value chain, identifying hotspots for environmental leakages, and providing practical and strategic recommendations for businesses and policymakers, according to UNEP.

Read more here.

Morrisons revives glass milk bottles to cut plastic

Traditional glass milk bottles are making a comeback in some parts of England, after Morrisons announced it was reintroducing pint-sized glass bottles of milk in a bid to cut down plastic use. The trial will see glass milk bottles priced at 90p sold at seven stores across Kent and four stores around Sheffield, Morrisons said, noting that discussions were underway with dairies to roll out the scheme nationwide. Milk will be delivered directly to supermarkets by local farms in a move that will help the supermarket shorten emissions-intensive milk supply chains. Customers will be able to return their bottles to Morrisons, where they will be collected and sanitised so they can be reused.

Read more here.

Conwy trials digital DRS

Conwy county borough council has launched a digital deposit return scheme trial in partnership with resources charity WRAP, the Welsh Government and Polytag. As part of the four-week trial, residents will be approached by recruiters and asked to sign up to the scheme. They will be given a set of plastic water bottles with “Polytag unique codes” on them. Once used, they will be scanned using a free app, and put out for recycling as usual. The bottles will then be scanned by the council’s household waste and recycling team, and for every bottle scanned, householders will receive a digital token worth 20p. The tokens will then be donated to raise funds for Ysgol Pen y Bryn, a local primary school.

Read more here.

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