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Poll reveals 89 per cent want plastic pint cups banned

A poll conducted by business consultancy Yonder, on behalf of A Plastic Planet, has found that ‘some 89 per cent of Britons want plastic pint cups banned to protect the environment', published today (29 April).

plastic pint cupsIn the UK, some 100 million plastic cups are used annually. Yet, the polling revealed 75 per cent of Britons believe plastic pint cups ‘cheapen the experience’ of enjoying their favourite beer.

The poll coincides with the publication of an open letter by A Plastic Planet published in the Daily Telegraph, co-signed by experts calling for a ban on plastic pint cups.

The letter said: “In Britain the plastic pint cup is one of the worst offenders when it comes to the ugly scourge of waste.

“Rarely recycled and totally valueless, they remain strewn across the landscape in the aftermath of big nights out, music festivals and sporting events.

“Plastic pint cups too taint the experience of buying a round. Britons are routinely charged £7 for a pint of beer.

“And yet consumers are forced to drink their expensive purchase out of a cheap plastic cup that often ruins the taste.”

Co-founder of Really Good Beer Society, Richard Dilley, and Liberal Democrat Peer and member of the Beer All-Party Parliamentary Group, Lord Jones of Cheltenham, have backed the campaign in the open letter.

The list of experts who also support the calls for a ban on plastic cups includes Environment Select Committee member Ian Byrne MP (Labour), Kerry McCarthy MP (Labour), and Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse.

It is estimated that the UK hosts more than 7,000 outdoor events attended by around 85 million people each year, the majority of which will purchase a beverage in a plastic pint cup.

According to A Plastic Planet, the strongest support for a ban on plastic cups could be found in the North East, with 95 per cent wanting plastic pint cups outlawed, followed by Yorkshire (94 per cent) and then those living in Scotland (92 per cent).

Sian Sutherland, A Plastic Planet co-founder, said: “The British public and the planet are being short-changed when it comes to the plastic pint cup. Totally valueless, those paying hard-earned cash deserve better. We are actually paying twice – once for the plastic pint and then the heaviest price of all  - the environmental devastation caused by this toxic and indestructible material. This double whammy is simply wrong.

“We’ve seen before the unsightly scenes when thousands of plastic pint cups are left behind in the wake of music festivals and live events, but these are rarely going to be collected and processed. With plastic recycling rates so low in the UK, it is no longer acceptable for us to allow such single use items to exist.

“The public agrees too. The Government must therefore act urgently and bring an end to the plastic pint cup for good.”

Yonder and A Plastic Planet highlighted that, globally, 500 billion plastic cups are used each year – if lined up end-to-end these cups would span 50 million kilometres, or more than ‘130 trips from the Earth to the Moon’.

The survey was carried out across 2,073 Britons between the 11th and 12th of April 2022.