Banning single use plastics is not enough to demonstrate environmental sustainability

Posted on 30/04/2018

In the latest move to tackle the escalating plastic waste problem, environment secretary Michael Gove said he wants the UK to eliminate straws from use – with 8.5 billion thrown away every year.

The ban would also cover plastic stemmed cotton buds and plastic stirrers. Single use items have a major impact on the environment when they are disposed of incorrectly or become litter.

In response to growing customer demand, many retailers, bars and restaurants are already making headway on tackling plastics use. Many are offering a customer opt-out of single use plastics at the checkout or moving entirely to paper straws for example.

This is commendable, however, the government, businesses and the public must work together to protect the environment and it doesn’t just stop at plastics. The government is encouraging industry to take more responsibility for the overall environmental impacts of its products.

What is your organisation doing to demonstrate environmental sustainability? 


Whether you are in the process of starting to develop your environmental management system (EMS) or well on the way, ISO 14001 certification can help your organisation deliver regulatory compliance and meet supplier requirements plus satisfy rapidly growing stakeholder and consumer demand.

ISO 14001 environmental management system certification is designed to provide the framework for managing your environmental performance; helping your organisation reduce your environmental impacts. It goes further than banning one plastic item.

ISO 14001 provides a framework for a whole system approach to your organisation’s policy, plan and actions which can be used to meet internal and external objectives for environmental management.

Achieving ISO 14001 certification is vital to demonstrate to stakeholders that you are committed to putting sustainability at the heart of your business operations. Sustainability can ultimately save money by developing a more efficient business, assist with cost and waste reductions which will give stakeholders peace of mind.

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Recent weeks have seen the UK Government announce that it plans to ban the sale of plastic straws and drinks stirrers which cause amongst other things, ocean pollution.