A group of 21 cross-party MPs have joined calls to ban plastic pint cups. Some 500 billion of the cups are used every year, according to A Plastic Planet, the group behind the early day motion.
The pint beakers are the sixth-most commonly found plastic item in Britain’s rivers, and the eighth on the nation’s beaches, the EDM notes.
The UK government is currently mulling over bans on a range of single-use plastic items, including cutlery and polystyrene cups – but not plastic pint cups. As such, the current proposals don’t go far enough campaigners argued. “Totally valueless, rarely recycled, these cups are destined to pollute Britain’s natural habitats for centuries to come,” said founder Sian Sutherland.
How alternatives, like aluminium and paper, compare to plastic on life cycle assessments is unclear. Reusable and returnable cups could also be a more sustainable option.
A number of venues already offer deposit and return schemes for pint cups. Twickenham has reportedly saved over nine million cups going to landfill after introducing such a scheme in 2014.
However in June the stadium and its catering partner Levy UK, which is part of Compass Group, trialled “self-destructing” single-use plastic pint cups made by Polymateria.