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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Charity highlights the hidden plastics in everyday products

This news post is about 1 year old

New research are shown the public are largely support of highlighting everyday products that contain hidden plastics

A charity is highlighting the widespread use of hidden plastics in everyday products.

From wet wipes to cigarette filters and ‘paper’ cups, many of the products we use every day contain hidden plastics. In a recent survey for the Marine Conservation Society, YouGov found that the British public are largely supportive of measures to help reduce single-use plastics in our everyday lives.

The Marine Conservation Society’s Plastic Challenge, running throughout July, is a great opportunity to take small but impactful steps to reduce single-use plastic consumption. The challenge, sponsored by plastic-free toilet roll brand Oceans, provides helpful guidance on how to phase out plastic in the hopes that some of the ocean-friendly habits adopted through July might remain.

With plastic pollution an ongoing and increasing concern for many, the Marine Conservation Society is calling for ambitious legislation to be put in place by UK governments to make identifying products which contain plastic easier. The charity believes individual actions to reduce single-use plastics should be supported by policy, to make avoiding single-use plastics easier.

The results of the charity’s recent survey show 82% of the British public surveyed support mandatory labelling for single-use products containing plastic.

With the European Union’s Single-Use Plastics Directive now in place, many products containing plastic in the EU will be required to include an on-pack ‘dead turtle’ logo, highlighting the impact of plastic products on the ocean. Products with the logo include wet wipes, sanitary products, tobacco product filters and beverage cups. However, this legislation doesn’t apply in the UK.

Dr Laura Foster, head of clean seas at the society said: “We don’t want to be buying products with hidden plastics, and using them in our everyday lives. Better labelling is vital in helping us all to make responsible, ocean-friendly choices. In the UK, we’ve fallen behind the EU legislation which not only bans certain single-use products but also ensures companies raise awareness of the impact of their products and contribute to the cost of clean-up.

“We need to see UK governments urgently address and combat single-use plastic through legislative changes. Last year we recorded litter on our UK beaches at ten times the threshold value set by the EU.”

The charity recently surveyed high street retailers to see how many UK supermarket brands would be adopting the EU’s new single-use plastic logos, which will be applied from 3 July. The results show that, though the labelling is optional for UK products, some high street retailers are planning to voluntarily use the EU labelling alongside (or instead of) their existing ‘Do not Flush’ labelling.   

Retailers were questioned on whether they would include EU labels for own-brand single-use sanitary products, personal care wet wipes including face wipes and beverage cups. Aldi is the only retailer committed to adopting the new EU labelling across their applicable products from 3 July 2021, in line with EU regulations. Boots will be adopting the labelling for all their applicable products by end of December 2021, with Asda, Co-op and Wilko adopting it for only some. Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s are yet to make any such commitment. Lidl is the only retailer surveyed that won’t be adopting the EU labelling for any of their applicable products.

You can sign up for the challenge online.



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