Lead the Way: Impending Changes to Our Environment

With the recent changes to our indulgent Western lives—5p plastic bags and the projected 2040 ban on petrol and diesel cars—we’re now doing more than ever to alleviate stress on our environment.

Nevertheless, environment agencies and campaigners argue that these changes are still too lenient, and thankfully, the government is listening. Here are some big ideas in the pipeline.

Plastic straws, stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds.
Much-talked about in the news and media already, the government’s fixed plan to remove plastic drink straws and stirrers from the market may well shake up the way we drink our beverages, and it can’t come soon enough for environmentalists.

Plastic-stemmed cotton buds are being dealt with in a similar manner, forcing manufacturers to discover greener alternatives. Single-use plastics like these cause a great deal of stress on marine life, and can exist in oceans for as long as 200 years.

On a more positive note, however, you’ll still be able to slurp your favourite cocktail with bio-degradable straws made from glass, metal, or bamboo.

Disposable coffee cups.
With all these high-street closures, one thing’s for sure… coffee shops are king. But it’s easy to underestimate such a strong cultural tradition of ‘coffee on the go’. The government has tossed around the idea of a 25p take-out levy—much like the 5p plastic carrier bag levy—and leading brands such as Costa Coffee and Starbucks are taking the initiative by offering 25p off if you bring along a reusable cup. Sweet!

Deposit Return Scheme on plastic bottles.
Be it popular soft drinks or mere water, we ‘single-use’ plastic bottles as though nobody’s watching. The government’s plan to impose a Deposit Return Scheme follows the likes of Germany and Sweden in (hopefully) severing our excessive consumption of plastic bottles at the source. All being well, these reverse-vending machines should inspire mass recycling and responsible use, thus allowing marine wildlife to thrive once more.

Wet wipes and the Rise of ‘Fatbergs’
Thought to be coming into action in the next couple of decades, a ban on wet wipes has been proposed to radically shake up our view on and approach to hygiene and cleanliness as a whole. Images of so-called fatbergs—congealed bulges of non-degradable matter found lurking within London’s sewers—seem to have been a stark eye-opener to the gravity of the matter.

An Ultimate Step…
Environmental dreamers out there should be pleased about the upcoming changes the government has planned, but we know it doesn’t stop there. Calls for an end to plastic packaging entirely may go on to become the most significant change in how we manufacture and consume goods. So don’t be a backseat business. Make a change and lead the way.

If you are thinking of making a change to your business in order to lighten your footprint, be sure to let your insurance broker or provider know to ensure you remain fully covered on your policy.