FPA URGES WELSH GOVERNMENT TO PUSH BACK ON BAN ON PLASTIC CUTLERY & PLATES AND EPS (FOAM)

FPA URGES WELSH GOVERNMENT TO PUSH BACK ON BAN ON PLASTIC CUTLERY & PLATES AND EPS (FOAM)

The FPA has written to Mark Drayford, First Minister of Wales, urging the Welsh Government to push back on its proposed ban on single use plastics for plastic cutlery, plates and EPS (foam).

In the midst of the current coronavirus pandemic, the FPA says that the requirement for hygienic single use products that virtually eliminate the risk of cross contamination must over-ride all other concerns and that if these products were banned, in another eventually such as this, access to the required products would be very much restricted.

The FPA is calling on the Welsh government to review the proposed ban on these items and, in the hope that the crisis is soon brought under control, enable a process of further consultation to allow for expert food safety and hygiene evidence and data to be presented, particularly by the customers of these items. This will include usage patterns during the current crisis.

To enable this review, the FPA is requesting the banning of plastic cutlery and plates and EPS packaging be delayed until 2022.  Plastic cutlery, plastic plates and EPS (foam) packaging provide significant hygiene benefits over alternatives including metal cutlery, china plates other materials. EPS (expanded polystyrene) products are in particular demand during a healthcare crisis such as this because of the material’s unique ability not to transfer germs and bacteria, the key reason it has hitherto been favoured by the NHS.

Executive Director Martin Kersh said: “The announcement made on banning the above items in 2021 mean producers would in normal circumstances be scaling back now on their inventories of the raw materials needed to produce them. This is in stark contrast to the huge demand with deliveries tripled at least and customers advising that they plan to continue to operate to the highest levels of hygiene when the crisis is over. This clearly puts producers in a difficult position.

“We have previously advised the role packaging plays in feeding our population safely. During the crisis the role of single use packaging in achieving this has receives much greater recognition. We deeply regret it has taken such a dreadful pandemic for lessons to be learned.”

Ends                                                                                                                         March 2020

Issued on behalf of the Foodservice Packaging Association by Leapfrog PR. Editorial contact is Felicity@Leapfrogpr.com or call 01242 282000 or mobile 07887 608353