Consumer pressure to end plastic packaging in shops could actually be harming the environment According to the report by the BBC, change in packaging materials can be even worse for the environment than plastic (i.e. glass-heavy for transport, paper bags- higher carbon emissions).
The pressure from consumers to find more sustainable options to plastic packaging has led to several misconceptions and the spread of misinformation about alternatives. Bio-based, biodegradable and compostable packaging are examples of alternatives which nowadays appear more frequently in the shops. However, a lack of information and misunderstanding of how these materials should be dealt with by the end user could cause more problems.
Recently, the UK government has partially banned microbeads and other items are planned to be banned later this year. Furthermore, the government is in consultation about several policies (i.e. extended producer responsibility for packaging; introducing a deposit return system for drinks bottles; and bringing in greater consistency for recycling and waste collections), but the timeline for implementation is unclear.