With more and more pressure being placed on the UK to dramatically reduce the amount of plastic waste we produce, large companies are introducing various schemes to do their part in helping the environment, from charging more for plastic carrier bags, to plastic bottle deposit schemes.
Government plans to ban plastic straws and cotton buds
According to government ministers, 8.5bn plastic straws are thrown away in the UK every year, with the Prime Minister announcing that plastic waste was "one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world".
Many food chains including McDonald's, Pizza Express and Weatherspoon's are making changes to ban plastic straws from their establishments, such as introducing biodegradable straws or paper straws.
As for plastic cotton buds, many supermarkets are making the decision to only stock cotton buds that have a paper stem rather than plastic. Supermarkets getting on board with the plans are Waitrose and Iceland.
Walkers under fire
Leading crisp manufacturer Walkers are coming under increasing pressure to change their crisp packets from metallised plastic to a recyclable, more environmentally friendly material. Over 150,000 people have signed a petition calling for Walkers as well as other crisp manufacturers to change their packets to a more sustainable material.
The criticism of Walkers comes after beach cleaning volunteers in Cornwall found Walkers crisp packets 1980s and 1990s on the beach. And although Walkers are promising to make their packaging 100 per cent recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025, campaigners who signed the petition are hoping this date will be brought forward.
The latest company to announce their plans are Nestle, who are aiming to make all of their packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, wanting to avoid the amount of waste sent to landfill. Chief executive of Nestle, Mark Schneider said to Daily Mail: "Plastic waste is one of the biggest sustainability issues the world is facing today."
Accountancy Giant KPMG plan to stop using plastic cups for drinks across their 22 UK offices by this summer, hoping it will save them three million cups a year. Environment manager at KPMG told the Daily Mail, "the firm spends £60,000 on cups every year. Even with supplying our 15,000 employees with a free metal water bottle, the scheme is predicted to pay for itself within 18 months."
Could you cut plastic out your life?
Huge supermarket, Waitrose, are also planning to eliminate coffee cups from their stores. Read more about it now.
Take a look at some of our helpful advice on cutting down plastic: