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Plastic-free pints

Cross-party MPs call for urgent ban on plastic pint cups
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Man holding a pint of lager in a disposable plastic cup

A cross-party group of more than 20 MPs has today (13 July) called on the government to outlaw single-use plastic pint cups in a bid to combat pollution.
Parliamentarians including Caroline Lucas and John McDonnell want an immediate ban on the cups to slash plastic waste at music festivals and sporting events.

Pint cup pollution

The MPs have backed international solutions organisation A Plastic Planet’s campaign ‘Plastic Free Pint’.
The campaign seeks an outright ban on plastic pint cups such as those used during music festivals and live sporting events.
The MPs backing the ban warned that the billions of single-use plastic pint cups used each year will end up polluting the environment unless urgent action is taken.
The call was made in an Early Day Motion (EDM) tabled by SNP MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk Martyn Day.

The Single-Use Plastics Ban

Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, believes the government must add plastic pint cups to its single-use plastics ban, which seeks to end the impact of problematic and highly polluting plastic items.
The ban currently covers plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds, and is expected to be expanded to include plastic cutlery, plates and polystyrene cups, as well as plastic sachets.

‘The Single-Use Plastics Ban is a powerful piece of legislation designed to end the scourge of plastic pollution. But currently it doesn’t go far enough.
‘The plastic pint cup is a glaring omission. Totally valueless, rarely recycled, these cups are destined to pollute Britain’s natural habitats for centuries to come.
‘If the government is to realise its ambition of being at the forefront of tackling plastic pollution among world leaders, it must listen to the country’s politicians and the public, and introduce an outright ban on plastic pint cups immediately.’

A Plastic Planet co-founder

Pint cups in the environment

Globally 500 billion plastic cups are used each year. If lined up end-to-end these cups would span 50 million kilometres – or more than 130 trips from the Earth to the Moon.
In the UK, some 100 million plastic cups are used annually during music festivals and live sporting events.
Rarely collected and processed for recycling, these cups are destined to be strewn across Britain’s landscapes.
Plastic pint cups are the sixth-most commonly found plastic item in Britain’s rivers, and the eighth on the nation’s beaches. MPs warned that these pint cups are ‘single-use items that will end up in landfill, in incinerators or directly in our natural environments’.

‘Every year we see millions of cups left behind in the aftermath of music festivals and live sporting events, but these are rarely collected and processed for recycling.
‘We cannot continue to allow plastic pint cups to desecrate our beautiful rivers and beaches in the way they are doing so. The government must therefore outlaw plastic pint cups as a matter of urgency and bring an end to this highly-polluting item for good.’


Plastic ‘cheapens’ experience

The EDM follows Yonder polling conducted in April which found 89% of Britons want plastic pint cups banned in a bid to protect the environment.

Some 75% of respondents also believe plastic pint cups ‘cheapen the experience’ of their favourite beer.
The polling coincided with an open letter signed by parliamentarians and figures from the beer and live entertainment industry urging the government to outlaw plastic pint cups.

MPs giving their support to the EDM include: Martyn Day, SNP; Allan Dorans, SNP; Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrats; Ronnie Cowan, SNP; Chris Stephens, SNP, Labour; Jim Shannon, DUP; Chris Law, SNP; Alan Brown, SNP; Christine Jardine, Liberal Democrats; Douglas Chapman, SNP; Alison Thewliss, Liberal Democrats; Drew Hendry, SNP; John McDonnell, Labour; Rachel Maskell, Labour; Caroline Lucas, Green; Jamie Stone, Liberal Democrats; Daisy Cooper, Liberal Democrats; Richard Burgon, Labour and Sarah Olney; Liberal Democrats, Neale Hanvey, Alba Party.

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