Campaign for Real Ale appeals for ban on plastic pint cups

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has joined the call for an ‘urgent’ ban on single-use plastic pint cups, backing the ‘Plastic Free Pint’ campaign.

Plastic Pint Cups‘Plastic Free Pint’, run by NGO A Plastic Planet, seeks an outright ban on plastic pint cups such as those used during music festivals and live sporting events. Its Co-founder Sian Sutherland says that the Government must extend its single-use plastics ban to include the cups.

The NGO’s research has also shown that pint cups are the ‘sixth-most commonly found plastic item in Britain’s rivers and the eighth on the nation’s beaches’. Alongside this, some ‘100 million plastic cups are used annually during music festivals and live sporting events’.

Currently, the ban includes plastic straws, drinks stirrers, and cotton buds. However, it is expected to be expanded to include plastic cutlery, plates and polystyrene cups, as well as plastic sachets. A Plastic Planet sees these plastic items as problematic and highly polluting.

Further support has come from more than 20 cross-party MPs in an Early Day Motion (EDM) submitted to Parliament. MPs warn that pint cups are ‘single-use items that will end up in landfill, in incinerators or directly in our natural environments’, the NGO says.

The EDM follows polling conducted by consultancy Yonder in April, which found that 89 per cent of Britons want plastic pint cups banned in order to protect the environment. The polling also coincided with an open letter signed by parliamentarians and figures from the beer and live entertainment industry asking the Government to outlaw plastic pint cups.

Nik Antona, CAMRA National Chairman, said: “CAMRA supports the campaign for a plastic free pint. With 75 per cent of consumers agreeing that plastic ruins the taste of beer, we’d like to see Government not only ban single use plastic pint cups, but also support the development and adoption of solutions for a better pint.

“Any event or venue serving alcohol in the UK is required to consider public safety, and some Licensing Authorities currently require the use of plastic or polycarbonate cups as an alternative to glass. It’s therefore vital that Local Authorities amend licensing conditions to include a wider range of materials so that the trade can protect consumers and the environment.

There are countless innovators in the pub and beer trade who are working to produce alternatives to plastic pints, which CAMRA will continue to promote as part of our ‘Drink Greener’ campaign.”