UK to Ban Plastic Spoons

News Brief & Commentary by Kip Hansen — 21 January 2022

This coming October, the UK intends to “ban several single-use plastic items, including cutlery and plates”. 

“The European Union approved a ban on single-use plastic items in 2018, which went into effect three years later.[2021] England’s neighbors, Scotland and Wales, each banned a similar list of items last year.”

“Rebecca Pow, an environment minister, said in a statement, “Plastic is a scourge which blights our streets and beautiful countryside, and I am determined that we shift away from a single-use culture.””

“Steve Hynd, policy manager at City to Sea, an environmental organization based in Bristol, said the ban was welcomed but “these are very much minimum agreed standards.”

“The ban will help England catch up with other countries that already implemented similar bans years ago,” he said. “But for England to be true ‘global leaders’ in tackling plastic pollution like this government claims to be, we need them to go much further.””

I am a curious person (yes, both meanings).  When a Brit orders a take-out curry which she intends to eat on a park bench or sitting on a wall overlooking the pebble beach, what is she going to use to eat her curry when the shop no longer gives her a nice plastic spoon or fork?

Since the E.U. has had a similar ban for more than a year, I queried a European colleague and asked the same question.  Being the same sort of person as I, he didn’t know.  But he has a daughter and he called her for the real scoop on the streets of Europe, who reports: “They use paper (for the fries), cardboard (for serving a burger), wooden spoons, forks, knives for eating a salad.”  I can assume that they use the same wooden cutlery for our take-out curry.

Taken in historical context, Europeans (and other humans) have had spoons carved out of wood,  ivory, flint, bone and horn. Later spoons were cast in pewter and other softer metals.  But all of those (except the wood—even peasants could have a wooden spoon) were quite valuable and in various time periods, represented wealth and social position. Today, most household spoons are stainless steel. But these are not cheap enough to be given away.

New York’s famous food service automat, Horn and Hardart,  offered customers metal cutlery which was meant to be returned at the end of the meal. My wife has one of those spoons, nicked by her mother sometime in the mists of history.

When I was  child, the Ice Cream Man gave us simple wooden paddles as spoons for eating our little cups of ice cream.  Enter the plastic spoon (and fork, and knife), costing less-than pennies apiece and readily given away with take-out food. 

The problem appears to be that many of these cheap now-plastic items end up in the environment – not because they are plastic, but because people are not careful with their trash.   The fact that they are plastic just means they will breakdown more slowly in the wild. 

The declaration that “…plastic is a scourge” is nothing but an activist meme – something said to get positive attention but is not actually true. It is not “plastic” that is the problem – it is trash and litter, some of which is plastic,  purposefully thrown into the environment or carelessly allowed to escape – such as blowing out of the back of a pick-up truck (very common in the United States) or off the back of garbage trucks.

Finally, to my point, which is a question (or an impromptu survey, maybe):

To our readers in the UK and Europe: 

How’s that plastic cutlery ban working out for you?  

What does the curry-take-out (insert your country’s most common take-out food) give you with which to eat your curry? 

What kind of container does the curry come in?  

What about the salad – container and cutlery?

And your McDs burger – wrapper and container?

And of course,

What’s your opinion about all this?

# # # # #

Author’s Comment:

I have written about plastic pollution many times.  I have viewed hundreds of photos of “beach trash” and collected and surveyed beach trash myself (in Florida, USA).  I have reviewed images and reports of “pelagic trash” (trash found floating in oceans).  I have not once in any of those photos or reports (or in personal experience) found plastic spoons.    (I once found a single plastic knife left by a sunbather on Cape Canaveral Beach.)

Plastic cutlery is not a scourge – anywhere – as far as I can find…certainly not in the advanced nations of Europe and the UK.  Nor is it in the United States. 

The anti-plastic advocacy is really a sub-set of the anti-fossil fuels and anti-petroleum movement, which at its heart, it anti-human and anti-civilization.

Now we find that the “greens” have moved us into the past once again—back to wooden spoons — or sporks, if you prefer.

Thanks for reading.

# # # # #

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Leo Smith
January 20, 2023 10:45 pm

Honey, As a proper Brit, I don’t eat takeaway food. Except chish and fips.
I haven’t been in a McDs for at least 15 years, and the Burger king burgers come without cutlery.
It’s all vanity virtue signalling anyway.

Reply to  Leo Smith
January 21, 2023 3:24 am

I stick to KFC – just use your fingers, lick em, good (their gravy is a challenge though).

BUT, I am also asthmatic. When I collect a new Ventolin or Seretide Inhaler every month, both come with a brand new plastic outer case. I just need the middle bit (the little dispensing canister). I can easily re-use the outer bit.

There are 5.4 million people in the UK with asthma. That’s a lot of wasted plastic.

Reply to  Leo Smith
January 21, 2023 10:01 am

Makes me miss Wimpy and Little Chef. More innocent times, when you could eat your cheap (relatively speaking) motorway grub in peace, without being pestered by a long train of government officials at every bite.

Reply to  Leo Smith
January 26, 2023 8:33 am


I knew I had a link to the elimination of such things as plastic bags in everyday life. Found it and the link follows. The writer was apparently a PR gal for the Russian hosting of the winter games a few years back. Very good site and she has several glimpses into life in the USSR era,and of course you remember you remember the Beatles…. “I’m back in the U.S.S.R.​ You don’t know how lucky you are, boy Back in the U.S.S.R

Packaging In The USSR Or Why We Keep Plastic Bags

Gums sends….

January 20, 2023 10:53 pm

I was born/ with a plastic spoon/ in my mouth

First they coupled cancer with privatised “health care” to make sure we die poor.
The few who still managed to leave an inheritance, were then subject to inheritance taxes.
…and here goes our last legacy; legislated into sin just like that.

Reply to  cilo
January 21, 2023 1:29 pm

“The north side of my town faced east, and the east was facing south”

January 20, 2023 11:26 pm

Here in NE Australia plastics do not last long if exposed to sunlight, but of course, the demand from some junior person resulted in the banning of small plastic cutlery including straws, and the ban also covered plates and cups. The spoons, sporks, knives and forks are all wood, fashioned in China of course. Spoons & sporks flatten out in a couple of seconds if you stir something even moderately hot. “Single use” plastic bags are banned, but were rarely single use as we are supposed to bag rubbish being put into wheely bins. Anyone caring for someone with incontinence will have a problem these days.

Reply to  martinc19
January 21, 2023 1:15 am

Nowadays the plastic bags you get from the supermarket (15c each) are unsuitable to use as a bin liner. You have to buy a roll of plastic bags to use as bin liners. It isn’t about saving the environment, it’s about pushing us another 50 years back in time.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 21, 2023 10:04 am

Our gov. took another angle: All shopping bags have to conform to a minimum thickness, ensuring a) they are expensive and b) they are truly reusable.
It got rid of millions of plastic shreds caught in wire fencing all down every highway. A massive pollution problem solved almost overnight, at a price everyone can afford. The richer folk actually save them for the less fortunate, Africa is like that.

Rick C
Reply to  cilo
January 21, 2023 11:14 am

Large dog, frequent walks, thin plastic grocery bags reused, but only once. Nuf said.

Reply to  Rick C
January 22, 2023 5:06 pm


Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 21, 2023 10:05 pm

Where am I?
How does one whisper menacingly on a keyboard: “I’m in the house!”?
Kip, philosophically, I am drifting slowly towards the horison of sanity on a sea of tears, driven by an ill wind of satanic psychobabble posing as science.
But if you wanna rumble, I can be found somewhere near:
It is about 500m west of the end of the official street map of Gauteng, South Africa.
I include the grid reference for those who doubt my weird tales of living on the congruence of not two, but three climatic zones.
P.S. Rumbling to be limited to the Indian variety, which I believe involves firewater?
The harvest is coming in, so we can also battle the Table Mountain way…

Last edited 5 days ago by cilo
Reply to  cilo
January 22, 2023 7:41 am


Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 23, 2023 12:28 am

Geez, cuz, you still using google?
I know they don’t like me, but Gauteng is an entire province, arguably the greatest concentration of bankster wealth on the continent.
Anyway, 26 South and 27 East, as even Wikidpedo can tell you. Far, far from Cape Town, which we reckon to be populated by somewhat retarded slowcoach yuppies who gather in cliqués near a flat mountain that is apparently the most wonderful heap of stones in the world.
It is said that the mayor of Yaruba once visited the Mayor of Cape Town, and they were discussing the problem of finding good help.
“Manana, they say. Everything is ‘manana’ the lazy bastards! Do you guys also have a word like that?”
The Cape mayor looked at him for a moment, and said: “Oh, we got several, but none of them quite convey the same sense of urgency.”

Last edited 4 days ago by cilo
May Contain Traces of Seafood
Reply to  martinc19
January 21, 2023 3:22 am

The brand that seems to be most popular (made in China) are some dry material that could easily double as a moister absorber in pill bottles.

When I am forced to use one I need to ‘prepare’ it by jamming it deep into my food for a good 30 seconds or so, otherwise it sticks to the inside of my mouth.

NOT a fan.

Loren Wilson
Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 21, 2023 8:20 am

Depending on the quality of the polystyrene used for the plastic cutlery, it could be slightly denser than sea water so it sinks to the bottom.

michael hart
Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 21, 2023 3:20 pm

“As I have written before, any object that sinks to the bottom of the sea becomes either a home for some sea creature or plant or food (for microbes).

Plastics that are very very resistant to degradation might as well be considered rocks.”

The place you look for wildlife on a featureless beach, is under a rock.
Plastic containers, though unsightly to (Western) human eyes are superb microenvironments that smaller sea creatures flock to. They are almost certainly a net-positive. And if an occasional seagull manages to wedge its head into one particular bottle, so what? It was probably trying to eat something that lived inside.

Yet environmentalists are still having trouble recognising that all those Jacques Cousteau/David Attenborough wildlife documentaries from beneath the waves have one thing in common:
All those sunken wrecks are teeming with fish and other exotic sea creatures that have made it their home and very much like it. Much of the open sea floor is a wide open desert to most sea creatures.

And don’t get me started on hermit crabs. What a bunch of slackers. A disgrace to crustaceans and all decapods everywhere.

Last edited 6 days ago by michael hart
Reply to  martinc19
January 21, 2023 9:45 pm

Do greenies ever get anything right, with out unintended undesirable consequences? My groceries came this week for the first time in all paper bags 5 of them. They were heavy, so out of interest I weighed them, 60 grams each, 300 grams.

These replace the old “single use” bags we used for everything including bin liners, at just under 10 grans each, 50 grams. In the interim these were replaced by so called reusable plastic bags, dreadful things, much heavier, 25G each & a lousy shape, so no use for bin liners etc.

The paper bags proudly proclaim they are 60% recycled material. So if you actually believe them that means over 100 grams of new wood chip to deliver my groceries. So we have replaced 50 grams of quickly degradable plastic with 300 grams of paper, 40% of it virgin paper, utterly useless for the jobs we used the old disposable.useful bags, & totally useless for any purpose if wet.

Has any greeny ever got anything right?

Reply to  Hasbeen
January 22, 2023 9:35 am

Has any greeny ever got anything right?

Well, let’s just look at bags.

First, we were using paper bags. Then we had to use plastic bags to save the trees. And then we had to go back to paper to save the environment. And then we had to use reusable bags to save everything. And finally we went back to plastic (but not paper for some reason) because multi-use bags were unsanitary and could spread covid.

And remember CFLs?

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 23, 2023 4:35 pm

I remember my grandmother (I’m in my 85th year now) in the mid 1940s gathering up a newspaper spread over the floor of a whistle stop railway station in a hamlet in Ontario, excited because it was only a few days old.

At home, she also had a large ball of butcher twine, bundles of ‘silver’ paper, wax paper, sundry jars with lids, elastic bands, burlap sacks, flour sacks, etc., all saved for re-use. She was raised on a homestead on the prairies. Enviros didn’t have any new ideas.

Elliot W
January 20, 2023 11:27 pm

The teeming millions in Asia dump all their plastic garbage in the ocean. Yet the West decides it’ll save the world by banning the plastic cutlery and drinking straws that wound up in western landfills. It’s a condescending and patronizing version of “white man’s burden”. But woke is about feelings, not logic.

Reply to  Elliot W
January 21, 2023 6:50 am

And the West by removing CO2 from our power, transport and manufacturing infrastructures will save the planet!

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Jackdaw
January 24, 2023 3:35 am

And somehow this already meaningless (because CO2 DOESN’T drive the climate) reduction in the West’s “emissions” will be replaced “times two” by moving the industry to China, India, and other so-called “developing” nations.

Elliot W
Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 21, 2023 1:29 pm

Dumping garbage into the sea by third world countries is not a myth, racist or otherwise. I have interesting video footage of Indonesian islands doing exactly that; locals said anything else was too expensive.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 21, 2023 1:51 pm

Sorry Kip, but dumping into the sea is very common on Indonesian islands, it is standard practise for anyone near a jetty or waterway. And the amount that finds its way downstream from badly managed dumps is an equally huge problem.
(My joking definition of “bin” in Indonesia : “a place to put rubbish near”.)

Hopefully that is changing with education; over the time I was there I witnessed kelongs (seaside restaurants built on jetties) change from clearing tables by throwing everything over the side to actually using proper disposal systems… the surroundings quickly improve.

January 21, 2023 12:08 am

Chop sticks…

That’s the only eating aid we get – if we go Chinese

So, no impact at all in this house. But they have signalled their virtue

Mike McMillan
Reply to  strativarius
January 21, 2023 1:57 am

If I can’t count on a plastic spoon being there when I need it (sorta like windpower), what shall I do?

In my left pocket, I have my wallet and comb, in my right pocket I have my pocket knife, and my keys and flip phone when I go out. Where will I ever find room for a spork?

Reply to  Mike McMillan
January 21, 2023 2:04 am

You can use the comb with some paper to make a kazoo type instrument – should you need it

michael hart
Reply to  strativarius
January 21, 2023 2:43 pm

I’m still of the opinion that chopsticks are the best aid to weight loss that is available.
Maybe that’s why the Chinese invented them.

When you have little or close to zero food, chopsticks make it go lot further/longer than a fork or spoon. Eating more slowly also produces less of an insulin spike.

I know, I know…I shouldn’t be giving the do-gooders more ideas.

John Dowser
January 21, 2023 12:10 am

My sleepy brain translated the title into “UK to Bend Plastic Spoons”. Which seemed to me an intriguing visual to illustrate these kind of environmental laws and bans. And even when incidentally metal spoons are bending, suspect the hypnotist and slight of hand manoeuvres.

Reply to  John Dowser
January 21, 2023 1:57 am

Uri Geller won’t be pleased!

Rod Evans
January 21, 2023 12:29 am

WE all have these virtue fixated people living among us. In my home town we have all the usual green zealots and the ban plastic everything crew.
I allow the ban plastic dialogue to progress far enough along before I ask a simple question.
‘What will you insulate the electric wires charging up your battery powered car if you ban all plastic’?
There is the usual flustering and attempt to gloss over the lunacy of their ban plastic zealotry but no answer ever comes out.
As for single use cutlery. Well we have all the technology we need to make ‘plastic’ quickly biodegradable if left in the environment. It is the simplest thing in the world to just add a bio degradable requirement into play rather than a ban. That would require a little bit of joined up thinking though, which is something the zealots wanting to ban everything don’t seem able to do.

Dodgy Geezer
January 21, 2023 12:34 am

I think there is a bit of a cultural misunderstanding here.

The Brits don’t eat takeaway curries outside. They take them home. With their climate, they actually eat very little outside. The typical use of plastic cutlery is in cheap restaurants where the cardboard plates and plastic cutlery are discarded after each meal.

The only likely impact may be on fish and chips, which was traditionally eaten from newspaper with the fingers. Plastic forks are occasionally added to a serving nowadays – they are almost useless for eating with and are often discarded before the meal is started…..

Steve Richards
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
January 21, 2023 1:47 am

I’ve seen quite a few brits eat a curry/burger/kebab etc on the way home from the pub on a night out

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
January 21, 2023 2:30 am

I think you will find that eating take-aways on the way home from a night out is not uncommon, at least its not rare.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 21, 2023 10:12 am

True, as I’ve had to deal with that logistical problem.

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
January 21, 2023 6:30 am

Plastic cutlery in cheap restaurants is provided to eliminate the onerous, expensive and highly regulated use of metal cutlery. Health regulators focus on dish washing and the machines used for it are licensed by authorities. Wash and rinse temperatures must meet standards. Detergents and sanitizers are required. Employees must be hired to operate the dish washing equipment. Single use plates and cutlery are part of the reason that the restaurant can be described as “cheap”.

Reply to  nailheadtom
January 21, 2023 9:12 am

Despite the general belief that things made from wood are “green”, most people don’t realize that a log on the back of a logging truck can be worth several thousand dollars, and took a lot of equipment and labour to remove from the forest (which was also the most economical means), costly stumpage fees, and permits. Just because you can whittle a wooden spoon in an hour from a dead branch doesn’t mean that it is a sound strategy for a million people in a city. In fact, the least consumption of energy, resources, even emissions, equipment and human effort falls in favour of PLASTIC.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
January 21, 2023 1:20 pm

The reality is that in “logging”, the felling and cutting of the trees is a minor part of the operation. The most important part of tree harvesting is getting the the logs to where they can be turned into useful products, in other words, road building. In areas like southeast Alaska where the terrain makes it extremely expensive to build roads from the timber to the mills or ports, logs are moved with helicopters because it’s cheaper than building roads.

Reply to  nailheadtom
January 21, 2023 3:36 pm

Yup, you’re catching on as to why PLASTIC is actually environmentally preferable.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  DMacKenzie
January 24, 2023 3:44 am

Few realize that the manufacture of PAPER is far more of an “environmental” issue than the manufacture of plastics.

January 21, 2023 2:13 am

No one in the UK would grumble about our littering if they’d ever walked long a rural road in Spain or southern Italy.

Reply to  quelgeek
January 21, 2023 3:11 am

There they grow europe’s vegetables under tons of plastic. A sea of plastic as far as the eye can see.

Ben Vorlich
January 21, 2023 2:19 am

I don’t have carry out food very often. Fish and chips in a Styrofoam box eaten with fingers, wood cutlery was available. Pizza in cardboard box eaten with fingers. Curry in aluminium container eaten at home with metal cutlery, containers put recycling after washing. Pizza boxes contaminated with grease and food cannot be recycled where I live, it clogs up the machines appropriately.

There was an item on news last night about decades old land reclaimation now being eroded by the sea and plastic appearing on beaches nearby. Naturally there’s no money available to repair the sea defence.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
January 21, 2023 2:32 am

Your report of a land fill dump being eroded by the sea and thus releasing plastic onto the beach is interesting.
As plastic in volume is a fairly modern thing and as erosion of the shoreline is a constant and known about phenomena. It begs the question what kind of council made the decision to put a dump that close to the sea?
Maybe it is a BBC report, maybe they were hoping to weave in climate change induced sea level rise being the cause of the erosion and thus release of the dump to the beach.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 21, 2023 9:18 am


Toxic waste revealed as eroding coastlines expose old landfills | Environment | The Guardian

The Uk Govt has issued guidelines to local authorities on dealing with this. The problems are mainly in those counties with soft and low cliffs such as Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk.


Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 21, 2023 9:31 am

Along the South Coast of England. I think the map of areas affected by plastic on beaches was approximately Weymouth to Brighton.

A not very good decision 40 years ago, with poos implementation and lack of maintenance since fits well with rising sea level scares

Uncle Mort
January 21, 2023 2:24 am

We don’t even use plastic cutlery in the servants’ hall, although I’ll mention it to the butler just in case.

January 21, 2023 2:27 am

The UK countryside or shoreline is NOT littered with plastic spoons or the other cutlery. What you will find is fly tipping caused by restrictions at recycling centres. For example, you can only visit a recycling centre if you register and book a finite time slot, or be banned if you transgress the rules. In the case of my local dump, you cannot walk in, you must book a time slot, or else. There are also restrictions and fees for disposing of building rubble, which is partly understandable, but it appears punitive. So there has been an increase in fly tipping where individuals will unload vans or lorries of white goods, rubble, beds, household waste, right onto rural lanes or fields or forest openings. The shoreline tends to get rubbish thrown off ships and fishing gear and of course the face masks are turning up anywhere. Great idea, lets ban plastic spoons.

Reply to  sskinner
January 21, 2023 3:35 am

We have a ‘municiple household recycle centre’ 1 mile up the road – but it belongs to the next county just over the border. Their council won’t allow us to use it.

So, we have to drive to our own district council’s ‘household recycle centre’ which is 14 miles north of us. Crazy.

Reply to  GeeJam
January 21, 2023 5:20 am

A friend turned up to the one near us and they wouldn’t let him in even though it wasn’t busy. It’s also the same with the local swimming pool. If you don’t book a specific time slot online then no entry, and there are limited numbers per time slots. The company running the pool appear to manage sports centres throughout the UK. This all seems like Schwab’s 4th Industrial Revolution.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  sskinner
January 21, 2023 1:13 pm

There are swimming pools in some cities that operate a single sex session policy on behalf of certain sections of the population. Not sure how that will work with all the new laws about self identification of gender.

Reply to  It doesnot add up
January 21, 2023 2:30 pm

Hmm. 50+ different gender oriented swimming sessions.

Peta of Newark
January 21, 2023 2:33 am

Got me thinking, always dangerous, but…
First, few people do actual take-aways any more – they all get stuff delivered.
haha supposedly ‘for free’ but if anyone has any experiernce of such things, quickly realise that the ‘free delivery actually adds (at least) £2 to the price of every item on the menu, whether you visit the shop or slob out at home waiting for it.
and a lot of the time there’s a minimum order charge

  • Kebabs, burgers, fish & chips = often eaten on-the-hoof, or park-bench or in your car so no need for cutlery
  • Chinese = using anything bar chopsticks is out and metal cutlery (a knife especially) is The Biggest Insult you could deliver to your host/chef
  • Indians/curries = Do what the natives do and use the Naan bread or Poppodom as a spoon
  • Anything involving rice – Rice classically comes out of the cooking pot all gooey and sticky, deliberately so, so as you pick it up with fingers, roll it into a little ball and pop that into your mouth

Doesn’t leave very much, APART from the very stuff these virtue signalling ‘creatures’ might be eating themselves. At lunch times
Namely stuff from supermarkets, often involved in ‘Meal Deals’ and comprising all sorts of over-priced, as seen on Nik Nak Nok Nok, health giving fart-inducing goodness involving beans, lentils, tuna, Mediterranean mush, sweet chilli sauce and and and – you get the drift. Esp when downwind.
Comes in (strong) aluminium-foil containers with plastic cutlerey glued inside the cardboard covering

Might save a few tuna-fish (and human digestive tracts) from meeting a horrible end (I did NOT just say that – did I) so could be a good thing

People really should eat more with their fingers – they might then get a few of the bacteria that make VItamin B12 into their guts and thus not become Clones of Brandon
(There’s The 6th Extinction – its the bacteria we’re killing)

Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 21, 2023 5:03 am


I have yet to encounter anyone having a curry who isn’t sitting in a restaurant.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 21, 2023 1:18 pm

Things get more dangerous. Brits “go for a Chinese” or think they could “murder a curry…”

January 21, 2023 2:45 am

Great, lets just get chopping down all those CO2 consuming trees to make forks and knives out of.

It’s what the original plastic grocery bag was invented to stop.

Reply to  HotScot
January 21, 2023 3:37 am

and the biggest laugh yet?
in aus stupormarkets are now BACK to paper bags!!
Im buying as many of the decent hduty plastic bags from Aldi as I can manage theyre ideal for storing small appliances and heaps of other stuff.
Id saved a large volume of dog food bags to go to redcycle to find theyd NOT recycled them but stashed in warehouses
theyre now my very h duty garbage bags

Tom in Florida
Reply to  HotScot
January 21, 2023 4:35 am

Just take all those wooden utensils to Drax and use them for fuel.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 21, 2023 1:19 pm

Kindling for the woodburner at home?

Alexy Scherbakoff
January 21, 2023 3:00 am

It’ll be fine if you call it finger food.

Bob B.
January 21, 2023 3:07 am

Who needs a spoon when you have 10 fingers?

Last edited 6 days ago by Bob B.
Reply to  Bob B.
January 21, 2023 3:38 am

tsk tsk the woke will label you ableist any second!

Reply to  Bob B.
January 21, 2023 5:04 am

” 10 fingers”

The indigenous spoons

Last edited 6 days ago by strativarius
January 21, 2023 3:27 am

aus already went nuts on this, so now we have truly crap paper plates expensive heavier pressed paper plates n bowls and Bamboo cutlery which tastes foul and isnt smooth on the tongue( sort of works maybe better than plastic knives that wouldnt cut cheese without snapping) and we can for the time being still get takeaway chinese etc in plastic tub type containers
Bamboo leaf compressed plates are actually better than flimsy plastic n paper ones and ARE reuseable.
I was amused and gobsmacked by the ban on kids under 18 being banned from buying plastic cutlery ie might have a knife in the pack…a few yrs ago in Victoria, theyd be unable to harm anyone as they cant cut tomato!

January 21, 2023 3:33 am

WHats wrong with using wooden forks?

Anyway, “When a Brit orders a take-out curry which she intends to eat on a park bench or sitting on a wall overlooking the pebble beach”

Never happens.

A curry you eat at home. Fish and chips, kebabs, burgers, those you eat with your hands, at the sea side etc.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  zzebowa
January 21, 2023 1:26 pm

Here’s a BRitish couple going to buy some fish and chips…

comment image

And eating it outdoors on a bench…

comment image

The couple ordered a £7.95 takeaway haddock supper, wrapped in paper, which they ate on a bench on the pier. They returned for ice creams – William’s in a cup, Kate’s in a cone – before returning to Edinburgh by helicopter

As you do….

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 21, 2023 3:40 pm

Meghan would go spare rather than go there.

January 21, 2023 3:44 am

“Plastic is a scourge which blights our streets and beautiful countryside … “

I’m sitting in my USA dining room, looking out on my USA lawn, USA sidewalk and USA street and see no scourge … plastic or otherwise. Perhaps this is a problem specific to the UK.

Rebecca Pow would probably be horrified to know that much of our domestic waste it carried away in plastic bags. Big plastic bags.

I do compost my clippings …

Tom in Florida
Reply to  rovingbroker
January 21, 2023 4:38 am

Discarded cigarette butts are far more blighting.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 24, 2023 4:02 am

I’m sure the filters are made at least in part from petroleum products. The horror!

January 21, 2023 4:00 am

Just before I became homeless and planning for a 2,600 mile recumbent pedal tricycle journey to a warmer climate, I purchased a titanium spork. Sporks are an eating utensil with a fork/knife on one end and a spoon on the other.
Now 11 years have passed since that little journey and the titanium spork remains the primary eating utensil, still looking the same as when it was purchased. Oh, I do have a complete Knork flatware set now but it sits on a shelf.

January 21, 2023 4:08 am

Hmm. Its rare to see anyone perched on a park bench in the UK eating the sort of take away that needs a plastic knife and fork. If you get a take away needing cutlery – Indian or Chinese- more than likely you will take it home. Even more likely you will get it delivered.

Things like burgers and kebabs and pizza don’t require cutlery. Fish and chips might be the exception as they are often eaten outside or in the car but don’t really require cutlery. Where cutlery is offered its more than likely going to be wooden.

I used to enjoy the Big Bang theory and was always surprised to see the characters using plastic knives and forks to eat the takeaways they took home, or similar cutlery when they ate in the University canteen. So perhaps its an American Thing?

I do a litter pick sometimes round and about my home and have never ever come across discarded plastic cutlery but plenty of MC D and KFC discarded food and drinks containers.

January 21, 2023 4:14 am

Many more products packaged with single use plastic on one side and cardboard on the other are sold in shops as compared to the bags used to cart them away.

Why are these packages not banned?

Reply to  ferdberple
January 21, 2023 4:23 am

Many fruit and veg items are sold in the sort of packaging you describe. Mind you when you see the characters handing them before deciding whether to purchase, just be grateful there’s a layer of plastic between you and the person who handled it and put it back on the shelf.

Reply to  ferdberple
January 21, 2023 11:40 am

Ferd, then there’s the all-plastic ones. Those are dangerous once opened, since the only way I’ve ever found to open them is to cut them.

January 21, 2023 4:45 am

We have no trouble using Chinese products
Why not use Chinese wooden chopsticks?
They can be cleaned. They are reusable
Problem solved
World saved
Davos and 600 private jets no longer needed
The Media will need something else to befuddle eyeballs and ear drums
PS. Do not worry, silverware, etc., will be sold on the black market

Last edited 6 days ago by wilpost
Curious George
Reply to  wilpost
January 21, 2023 8:13 am

Chinese are centuries ahead of us 🙂

Bob Rogers
Reply to  wilpost
January 23, 2023 7:51 am

A bit of local news. A few years ago a company in Georgia (USA) started exporting disposable wooden chopsticks to China.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Bob Rogers
January 24, 2023 4:05 am


January 21, 2023 6:43 am

As a regular river angler, I don’t recall seeing a plastic plate or eating implement on the bank or in the river. However, there are vast amounts of agricultural plastic discarded by farmers, our ‘Guardians of the countryside 🙄 ‘.
I live in a very exposed region and kerbside recycling boxes, put out for collection, are regularly blown down the road casting the contents far and wide, many residents don’t both to pick up their rubbish – it was put out for collection so is no longer their problem!
Also, I suspect one of the biggest users of single use plastic is the NHS, it’ll be interesting to see how they would cope with such a ban.

Banning plastic plates and eating tools is gesture politics at it’s finest (or worst), allowing our amazing politicians to polish their halos and stroke their over inflated egos.

John XB
January 21, 2023 6:55 am

I don’t do takeaway, so can’t comment on materials used, but I am old enough to remember we were encouraged to start using plastic and stop using wood, paper, cardboard to appease the woodland gods, and to cut down on food waste from spoilage from insects, stuff going mouldy and damage from physical handling.

Now the woodland gods have fallen out of favour, we must appease Poseidon.

We must also eschew plastic bottles and bring back glass, because discarded plastic bottles are much worse than broken glass ones for children to fall on or to stand on walking along the beach. And being hit over the head with a glass bottle or having one pushed in your face, is much more fun than a plastic one. (We even have a phrase which had more or less gone out of use – ‘being bottled’ the not infrequent end-point of a disagreement at closing time down the pub.)

Progress, it’s called.

Paganism interrupted by 2 000 years of Christianity, then the Pagan Restoration. We worship Mother Earth, the Sun, rain and wind gods, gods of the woods, rivers, seas and animals with Human sacrifice.

Let the good ole days roll.

January 21, 2023 7:06 am


We Yanks are also now moving away from the “single use” heinous plastic things. Grocery bags, utensils, straws, etc. Wait until the hospitals start seeing an increase in food poisoning. Meanwhile, you can get a small diameter plumbing tube that are made of various metal alloys and use the thing for your slurpie or blended fruit drink in the morning.

But puzzle me this! I bought the damned plastic things that came with the groceries and fast food. I re-use almost everything, even the hated plastic spoons . keep one or two in my truck and always take’em on fishing trips versus an expensive stainless thing. I use same one over and over and do not throw it in the lake or stream after the vienna sausage or sardine snack. The bottom line is I bought the things and who is it that tells me I can only use them once? Seriously, I could put a note on the menu that the utensils in the bag are the 1 cent charge on the bill. Can I then include the plastic utensils?

Sheesh Louise!

Gums sends….

January 21, 2023 7:12 am

The plastic scare is slowly ramping up, from microplastics in things like cosmetics, to plastic straws, to things like plastic utensils. I am waiting for the activists to make the final leap to the rubber-tired wheel, which wears out by grinding down the surface into tiny particles that are dispersed everywhere. This could only lead to a ban on rubber tires and wheels, which would effectively ban autos, trucks, everything that runs on rubber-tired wheels.

The ultimate progressive scare.

January 21, 2023 8:14 am

I have never in my life directly discarded a plastic supermarket grocery bag. They are far too useful. Bin liners as others have mentioned is just one use. I like to carry one or two in my pocket when walking to pick up trash as I go. I find very little.
Of course, they eventually go to the landfill full of sloppy disgusting stuff but never do they end up in the environment outside of landfills.
They have handles for ease of carrying and don’t leak sloppy gunk. I use them to carry the days harvest from my garden after which they get shaken out for the next use. There is no logical replacement for them.
I do hate plastic cutlery and use them only out of desperation. I have swallowed far too many plastic fork teeth and broken several knives over a single steak. Spoons are less annoying but they are not often needed.
On the other hand I rarely see any carelessly discarded. Ample trash receptacles are usually provided near where people eat and most are diligent to use them or others will just clean up behind them.
I have to walk back my comments a bit. I have seen large amounts of discarded trash at sites where outdoor performances are held that attract large numbers of young people. The producers of these shows usually do a very good job of cleanup when the show is over. Even if it is disgusting it is not really a problem.
Getting back to bags, are not these bans just substituting one type of trash for another. Paper bags are generally not suitable for more than one use as even the slightest liquid will make them fail. Cloth bags require washing and are much bulkier when they are inevitably discarded.
Most bans seem to simply make life more difficult while really not solving anything.
Finally, plastic breaks down much faster than many think and any that don’t are highly inert materials not much different than a rock or sand.Most will just get ground down to micro size and become incorporated as part of the soil.
Surely there are better solutions than just banning anything that offends a few radicals.

January 21, 2023 8:44 am

I despise sporks.
Fork tines too short to be more than barely functional.
A spork’s spoon messily leaks soup, sort of works on rice.

Chopsticks work far better holding or picking up solid foods.
Drinking the broth is simple and satisfying.

As the British Earl of Sandwich proved, using bread makes eating most portable foods, convenient, clean, easy and tasty.

What are known as “Hobo” knife sets are available. Case makes new ones every once in a while, while other brands fill the need.

comment image

Paul S
Reply to  ATheoK
January 21, 2023 11:29 am

Yes, indeed, but just try to take one on an airplane…..

It doesnot add up
Reply to  ATheoK
January 21, 2023 1:40 pm

As an army cadet we were issued with an aluminium canteen or mess tin witha fold out handle, to be used for heating food or water over a camp fire, and a KFS set which had a hinged retaining clip that provided some spring loading to keep the items together in the kit bag.

John Hultquist
January 21, 2023 9:09 am

I suggest all such be made of Gallium. Well, at least for cold things!
See: The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean

January 21, 2023 9:40 am

Here in LA the #1 plastic on our beaches are plastic water bottle tops…SoCal Sand Dollars.

January 21, 2023 9:55 am

If they absolutely MUST take a stand against plastic and ban stuff, how about that heavy clamshell packaging that requires power tools to open and has crazy sharp edges once it’s cut?

At least that would be doing something positive. But I guess that’s not their goal.

January 21, 2023 11:07 am

In California, we are going to ban syringes as those are now the most common form of plastic waste found on beaches and parks.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  doonman
January 24, 2023 4:17 am

While they’re at it, they can ban pharmaceutical products, which are mostly petroleum based.

Then we won’t be forced to watch umpteen stupid drug commercials informing me that the side effects are worse than what the drug is supposed to “treat.”

January 21, 2023 1:01 pm

Perchance the correct solution is to control litter, not plastic? But then the lefties would be offended. Ever see the state of the area after a lefty rally or protest?

Reply to  slowroll
January 21, 2023 2:25 pm

Perchance the correct solution is to control litter, not plastic?

Which means making people responsible. Leftist philosophy is to make the THING responsible, not the people. (unless you disagree, then you’re bad)

January 21, 2023 1:31 pm

Sustainability means not impacting future generations with what we do today. That is why we have codes and standards. Waste water treatment takes out particulate but not the chemicals consumed or produced. How do you like your crack pee, fentanyl and the toxic load associated? What is going on isn’t legally definable as sustainable.

The Environmental Working Group published Body Burden, Pollution in Newborns in 2005
The chemical load and 100s of toxins before their first breath is a death sentence from conception. EVERY industry across the board need to remove these poisons at water treatment before the poisons go downstream. They end up in the oceans and affecting the entire planet with all on it.

I lead our team and inspected our waste water treatment plant. Waste water treatment does not test or eliminate the chemicals or byproducts. Add to that our hospital and medical facilities. What are they cleaning and flushing down the drain? Disease, infections, prescriptions, virus, etc. Medical waste is processed and should be.

Our medical lead is a detox professional and rightfully angry that this was allowed to happen.
It is disgraceful to see what corporate greed has done and stupidity has allowed. Policy is based on science and science needs to lead.

The Brits like others have encapsulated themselves in microwave radiation for ease of communication when the science for safety is a plastic head with liquid(heating only)

Body Burden: The Pollution in Newborns | Environmental Working Group (

Michael S. Kelly
January 21, 2023 2:48 pm

The anti-plastic advocacy is really a sub-set of the anti-fossil fuels and anti-petroleum movement, which at its heart, it anti-human and anti-civilization.”

I wholeheartedly agree with both parts of this statement. The funny part about it is the “anti-petroleum” aspect. The most widely produced plastic on Earth is polyethylene, which isn’t made from petroleum. It’s made from ethylene, a waste product in natural gas that would otherwise largely be flared off. Not making it into plastic would add more CO2 to the atmosphere immediately.

Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
January 21, 2023 3:52 pm


Oh? Uh oh. Petroleum uses? Canceling permits and pipelines won’t have any effect, will it?

Lottsa things come from the fossil fuels that we never burn directly for heat or transportation, but the “save the planet” folks do not understand that.

I sure hope they can make a fire to cook or heat when the electricity goes out, but that will be a problem on the 33rd floor of the Manhattan apartment building, won’t it?

Gums ponders…

Larry Hamlin
January 21, 2023 4:06 pm

The environmental meaningless stupidity and incompetence on full display.

January 21, 2023 5:27 pm

Does this ban include those biodegradable sporks that were in use in the US Capitol a decade ago ?

January 21, 2023 6:20 pm

Down under that have banned single use plastics, straws, spoons, shopping bags, and more bans to come, takeaway food containers to start with.

For takeaway that used to supply plastic spoons you now get the bamboo ones. They are horrible and their mouthfeel when putting them in your mouth is disgusting. How much CO2 is generated making bamboo utensils, surely plastic one are cheaper to make and are actually better for the environment?

Plastic straws now made from paper. Use one for a drink and they are lucky to last for half the drink. Get one with a frozen coke, and in reality don’t even bother, they collapse after a few slips.

Plastic shopping bags, the heavy duty ones that cost 15 cents and are reusuable. On rubbish collection day, on my morning bike ride, I see bins full of these reusable bags, no one reuses them, not for groceries at lease, reused yes, but as rubbish bags, I don’t think that was their intention.

I agree aorund the issue with rubbish, if the user was more considerate and put thier rubbih in the bin or not throw it out of the winder of their car and took it home we’d have less of an issue of litter!. But it just seems too hard and some (most?) people are just bloody lazy and drop their litter anywhere they like. Then the complain about how much litter is about the place.

I’ve now resorted to carring in my car a set of cultery and a silicon and metal straw, I just can’t stand the timber (bamboo) ones that have replaced the single use plastics.

John Hultquist
January 21, 2023 9:47 pm

The hard plastic bottles that supplements and medicines are packaged in must number in the millions. There must be a better material or package.
Here is a question: When you empty a pill bottle, do you toss it in the trash with the lid on or off?

January 23, 2023 3:25 am

I only have take-away curries if (1) I’m travelling by car, where I already have plastic spoons in the car ready to use, and re-use, and (2) at home, where we use real plates and real cutlery. We even re-use the clear PLASTIC containers to place left-over food portions in the fridge. The article is right, the problem is not single-use plastic, and I venture, not always the availabilities of (not full) dustbins, but the sheer laziness of people to actually use a bin or take their rubbish with them. My parents and Scouts drummed correct rubbish disposal into me, for which I am grateful.

As for paper/cardboard straws, give me a break! Has anyone ever been able to finish a drink using one – before it’s gone so soggy that it just collapses on itself? Better to just have a ‘coffee cup’ style hole in the lid.

Last edited 4 days ago by ilma630
Bob Rogers
January 23, 2023 7:59 am

I went to a music festival in Telluride Colorado a number of years ago. We bought some food from one of the vendors at the festival. I went to dispose of the the waste, and there was an attendant to make sure you put things in the correct bins. They had bins for cans, for compost, and for trash. The attendant (not sure if that was a paid position or a volunteer) said to me that everything I had was compost. The plastic spoons too? Yep. Compostable plastic spoons. They make compostable plastic cups and plates too.

When I travel I take a folding fork/spoon thing. It’s a fork and a spoon that hinge at the center.

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