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Dear Reader, 

A new petition, organised by Common Seas, is calling on the UK Government to allocate £15 million into assessing the impact of plastic on the human body. The petition was launched due to growing concerns that plastic particles, when they enter the body, may be having a negative impact on human health.

The UK Government has launched a consultation on whether items such as single-use plastic plates, cutlery, and balloon sticks should be added to its single-use plastics ban. As well as launching a consultation, the Government is also calling for evidence on the use of single-use plastic in wet wipes, tobacco filters, sachets and single-use cups.

In other news, campaigners have warned that British beaches are being inundated by a form of plastic pollution that looks exactly like rocks. The so-called ‘pyroplastics’ are believed to be remnants of plastic that has been burnt or melted.

As always, we hope you enjoy reading.

John Higginson
Editor-in-Chief
Plastic Free Post

Calls for National Plastic Health Impact Research Fund grow

A new petition is underway which calls on the UK Government to allocate £15 million into assessing the impact of plastic on the human body. Orchestrated by Common Seas, the petition calls for a National Plastic Health Impact Research Fund, and was launched amid growing concern that plastic may be harming our health. It comes after the Government unveiled plans to become a world leader in research and development across health, life-sciences, and manufacturing with a £15 billion war-chest for 2021/2022.

Read more here.

UK Government launches consultations on plastics ban

The Government is currently consulting on which items should be added to the UK’s single-use plastics ban. The consultation will call for evidence from all interested parties on whether bans on single use plastic plates, cutlery, balloon sticks, and on expanded and extruded polystyrene food and drink containers, should be introduced.  They are additionally calling for evidence on the use of single-use plastic in wet wipes, tobacco filters, sachets and single-use cups.

Read more here.

British beaches plagued by ‘plastic pollution that looks just like pebbles’

Campaigners have warned that British beaches are being inundated by a form of plastic pollution that looks exactly like rocks. The so-called ‘pyroplastics’ are believed to be remnants of plastic that has been burnt or melted, researchers said. Pyroplastics look almost exactly like pebbles, and are created when plastics are heated during manufacturing processes. Researchers began to analyse the ‘rocks’ in recent years after people spotted them on beaches in Cornwall – initially thinking they were real pebbles. The lumps of plastic also weather like real rocks, and shed microplastic into the environment.

Read more here.

Eunomia reveals model for calculating litter costs

Eunomia has announced the creation of a model designed to calculate the cost of handling litter, which it will use to inform discussions of how this financial burden can be shifted from local authorities to packaging producers. Produced in collaboration with the Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP), the model not only provides an estimate of the total costs incurred by litter clean-up operations across the country, but it also breaks down the figure into the costs associated with managing the different types of material once they end up discarded. According to the framework, litter costs the UK approximately £660 million annually, the brunt of which falls upon local authorities to finance.

Read more here.

Ikea to ban all plastic packaging by 2028

As part of its goal to become climate-positive and circular by 2030, Swedish furniture chain Ikea is working to eliminate the 10 percent of its packaging that still uses plastic. The phase-out will be implemented in the coming years. By 2025, all new Ikea products will be packaged plastic-free, and three years later all existing products will be packaged plastic-free as well. However, the retailer does make an exception for the packaging of some food products, where it deems plastic is necessary to maintain quality and food safety.

Read more here.

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