Humanist Climate Action calls for Government action on plastic pollution

15 February, 2022

Humanist Climate Action has called for Government action to tackle plastic pollution. Responding to two consultations launched by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Humanist Climate Action supported proposals to bring forward a legislative ban on bio-based, compostable, and biodegradable single-use plastic items.

Such plastics are known to have wide and long-lasting degenerative effects on the environment. Not only are biodegradable plastics made from fossil fuels, they also break down into microplastics which can be ingested by wildlife and damage rivers and oceans. They also contaminate other plastic recycling streams.

Humanist Climate Action not only called for a ban on items made from these plastics, such as single use plates, sachets, cutlery, and wet wipes, but also called for the Government to go further and introduce a Plastics Pollution Act. Such an Act would mandate the phasing out of all non-essential plastics. It would also mandate the expansion of trials of deposit return schemes for items such as takeaway food boxes and plastic bottles, to encourage reuse.

Humanist Climate Action Coordinator Lori Marriott commented, 

‘As humanists we look to the scientific method and inquiry to understand the world around us. Much plastic pollution is caused by the single use and disposal of common consumer items. The evidence is incontrovertible that this is having a devastating effect on our wildlife and oceans. Bringing in a ban on the production and sale of such items will go a long way to reduce the amount of plastic in use. Therefore we have supported the Government’s proposal to implement a ban, following the success of the earlier ban on plastic straws.’


For further comment or information, media should contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at or phone 020 7324 3072 or 020 3675 0959.

Read the response to the consultation on proposals to ban commonly littered single-use plastic items in England.

Read the call for evidence on commonly littered and problematic plastic items.

Read more about Humanist Climate Action.

Humanist Climate Action is a volunteer-led network of Humanists UK members and supporters committed to redefining lifestyles and campaigning for policies that promote low-carbon, ethical, and sustainable living in the light of the degeneration of the Earth’s climate and biodiversity. We bring humanists together to facilitate individual and collective action on these issues. Humanists are guided by reason and science and recognise a moral duty towards the welfare of our fellow beings and the natural world. Humanists seek to engage in dialogue and debate rationally, intelligently, and with evidence, and promote the belief that humans are part of a wider natural world which must be treated sustainably for the sake of current and future generations .

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 100,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.