A multi-award-winning Staffordshire fish and chip shop has ditched single use trays and cutlery for good, ahead of a nationwide ban on single-use plastic.
John Evans, owner of Jojo’s in Stafford, has turned his back on polluting plastic waste in favour of biodegradable cardboard, in a bid to do his bit for the environment.
It comes ahead of a ban on single-use plastic that comes into force later this year. From October 2023, items such as plastic cutlery, single-use plastic plates, trays and certain types of polystyrene cups, will no longer be allowed to be distributed or sold in food outlets.
Trading Standards officers from Staffordshire County Council are now supporting local food businesses, so they are aware of the new rules and their responsibilities.
John, who also runs a mobile food van, said: “I think it’s really important that we all do what we can to protect the environment. This is why I made the switch to more sustainable items about four years ago. Plastic pollution takes hundreds of years to break down and inflicts serious damage to our oceans, rivers and land. It is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, from the production and manufacture of the plastic itself, to the way it is disposed of.”
Imogen Jones, manager of Jojo’s added: “The alternatives, like the cardboard boxes for chips, that we use are really good and do the same job. They do take much more storage space and are more expensive than traditional plastics, but we think it’s a price worth paying.
“We’re not overly concerned about the changes coming into effect in October as we’re already doing our bit, but it will force other outlets to make the switch over.”
The ban aims to reduce plastic waste and its impact on the environment, whilst encouraging the use of more sustainable alternatives such as reusable bags, biodegradable straws and refillable water bottles.
Trading Standards officers are making information and resources available to help businesses plan for the changes and to transition to alternatives.
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said: “Throw away plastic waste has become a real problem, affecting wildlife and our environment, and it’s important that we do what we can to reduce its use. Our Trading Standards officers have been supporting businesses since the first ban in 2020 but are stepping up their efforts to make sure owners are aware of these additional changes coming into effect later in the year.
“This ban is a step towards a greener and cleaner future for all of us, whilst creating a more sustainable Staffordshire. We hope this will encourage both businesses and individuals to take action and adopt more sustainable practices.”
Staffordshire has a good recycling record with more than 47,000 tonnes of waste being recycled each year, almost the same weight as the Titanic. People can find out what happens to recycling in Staffordshire in this short video. https://youtu.be/H0y_w73_TzQ
Further Advice and guidance for businesses is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/straws-cotton-buds-and-drink-stirrers-ban-rules-for-businesses-in-england
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