Plastic pollution of the marine environment, of which food and drink packaging is a significant contributor, has captured public interest over the past two years, and the Government has set out its ambitions to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042. In the backlash against plastic, other materials are being increasingly used as substitutes in food and drink packaging. The EFRA committee took evidence on this issue as well as reviewing the Defra waste strategy and other recent consultations on plastic packaging such as the Deposit Return Scheme. Their inquiry report sets out their concerns that compostable plastics have been introduced without the right infrastructure or consumer understanding to manage compostable waste and that such actions are being taken without proper consideration of wider environmental consequences, such as higher carbon emissions.
“The Government is not placing enough emphasis on reducing plastic food and drink packaging in the first place. Reduction is far more important than recycling and a fundamental shift away from all single use packaging, plastic or otherwise, is now necessary.”