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Single use society must end, says CPRE, the countryside charity

People picking up litter

1 October 2020

Commenting on the beginning of the government ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds, Crispin Truman, chief executive of CPRE, the countryside charity, said: ‘These throwaway items have been the scourge of our countryside for too long. Along with drinks containers and cigarette butts, they have been blighting fields, rivers, beaches and hills. Today’s announcement from the government is a laudable step in the right direction but it is certainly not job done. Plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers aren’t the only types of litter that build up in nature and harm wildlife.

‘As an organisation which has long campaigned for lasting solutions to litter, we know too well that single use items continue to pile up in our countryside with newcomers of gloves and masks having a major impact this year. The government has been dragging its feet on key legislation required for ending our single-use addiction – we need stronger, more decisive action now, including an all-in Deposit Return Scheme and for producers to be responsible for the cost of the single-use waste they sell to their customers.

‘Our single use society has to end. The government must seek solutions that rapidly move towards a truly circular economy where we value materials, plastic or otherwise, to ensure their use is limited in the first place and then always reused or recycled effectively.’