There is a shocking 6 million tons of single use plastics that are thrown away each year. To make more sense of this, you must realize that it takes approximately 1000 years for a plastic fork to decompose. Could you imagine the stories a fork would have after sitting in the soil for 1000 years?
Let’s look at what was happening 1000 years ago in ancient Britain. Sweyn Forkbeards was King of England, kingdoms did not have their own currency but relied on trade, there were no antibiotics to cure an illness and the most common meal at the time was pottage. There were Viking attacks, serfs to work the land and people basically lived in one place until they died in their 40’s. This information gives us an idea as to just how long 1000 years is and how things can change over time except for petroleum based products that stay in the same state, polluting the environment.
The UK will ban single use plastic cutlery in their “War on Plastic”. The goal is simple, reduce waste and rid of single use plastics. According to the Environment Secretary George Eustice, “These plans will help us stamp out the unnecessary use of plastics that wreak havoc with our natural environment”.
The ban will take time to accomplish and have it passed through Parliament, however, it’s a start to ending the plastic pollution on the land and in the oceans. The efforts do not only tackle cutlery, but also plates, cups, take-out containers, and ready-made grab & go meal containers.
Considering that plastic utensils first evolved in the 1940’s, gaining momentum in the 1950’s when they were being mass produced, they have become a nuisance and an environmental hazard for the past 71 years. The time is now, and the message is clear to rid of harmful plastics.