Guernsey to benefit from England's ban on single-use plastics rather than make its own laws

Bronwen Brown reports...

Politicians in Guernsey have welcomed a ban on single-use plastics in England, and say it will have a positive knock-on effect for the island.

There is currently no legislation in Guernsey which prevents the trade of single-use plastics like cutlery or bags.A new report by the Clean Earth Trust has found that in Guernsey there is one piece of litter for every metre of coastline, with four out of five items being plastics.

The Trust's first ever marine litter survey analysed the 122 beach cleans conducted over the course of 2021.

It found that 50,000 pieces of individual litter had been collected from the island's beaches, weighing nearly two tonnes altogether. Of that, 76% were plastic, and 33% were single-use.

Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez, President of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure, said: "Minimising single-use and non-recyclable plastic is an ongoing action as part of our Climate Change Action Plan and we anticipate that this recent announcement will have a positive knock-on effect in Guernsey to help us achieve this action.

“Developing legislation locally can often be a very slow and resource-heavy road to making changes, but because so many of the island’s supply chains are linked to the UK, we are likely to benefit from their new legislation without yet having to draft our own.

The politician has highlighted how businesses and consumers can have a larger impact on climate change than drafting new legislation. Credit: ITV Channel

"Direct action by businesses and consumers can often see quicker results than can be achieved through developing legislation, especially given the amount of legislative drafting needed by the priorities agreed in the Government Work Plan.”

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