Oxford becomes the first UK city to ban plastic

In a bold move this week, Oxford became the first UK city to ban plastic non-recyclable food containers in a bid to reduce the amount of waste the city sends to landfill.

The measure which was voted through at a council meeting on Monday will require all street vendors to use recyclable or biodegradable food containers and applies to burger vans, kebab vans and other sellers when they apply for new licences.

Vendors will be permitted to use up any existing non-recyclable stock first.

Bob Price, the city’s Labour council leader said he was “sure many other local authorities will be taking the same approach as Oxford” soon.

“Plastic take-away food containers are an environmental disaster and recyclable and biodegradable alternatives are easily available,” he said.

“As a society, we should be relentless in driving down the amount of rubbish we send to landfill and increasing the level of recycling and re-use of materials.

“This change in how street traders operate is a small but significant step in improving the street environment and increasing recycling.”

The move is also set to come in across the pond, with America’s biggest city, New York, will roll out similar measures shortly.

The ban, which will be implemented in just six weeks’ time, was voted for after approximately 70 smaller US cities had voiced concerns over the burden of Styrofoam on their local environments.

Some US vendors have stated that they will need to increase prices in order to balance the books, but the New York State Restaurant Association have been largely positive about the change, saying it would help educate food retailers on how to comply with the law and find alternative products that were “better for the environment and cost-effective”.

It’s yet to be seen what impact Oxford’s move will have on the plastics industry, but it’s safe to say that there will be a big push to recycled plastic products in the future.

TH Plastics is an experienced supplier of recycling equipment. To find out more contact us on 01457 855514.