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The ban on polystyrene packaging - The Chefs have their say

Chefs and food writers have written to London’s new Lord Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to ask him to ban polystyrene in the London with a particular emphasis on the Soho area. Over recent years Soho, in particular, has seen a significant increase in the number of eateries and with this a far larger amount of waste polystyrene. As the one of the favoured packaging choices for suppliers of meat and fish products.

Polystyrene is notoriously difficult to recycle, never degrades and has been linked to potential health risks, including suggestions that the chemical styrene may cause cancer.

Mr. Khan committed to reducing London’s waste with the aim to recycle 65% of waste by 2020. His aim, ‘a clean, green, London.’ With this in mind the hospitality industry will be an obvious target as there is such a volume of eateries in the capital and the amount of waste created is naturally going high due to its very nature.

This is the very reason the letter was sent to the Mayor by a number of high profile food service experts. Ed Baines, head chef and founder of the seafood restaurant, Randall & Aubin is heading the campaign, along with Mark Hix and Theo Randall.

Legislation exists in other, progressive cities, such as San Francisco and Seattle that have banned most polystyrene products including food packaging, even including coffee cups.

There are cardboard and solid board alternatives available, creating less waste, material that is less likely to scatter about if broken up and is far easier to recycle.

It will be interesting to see how Mr. Khan Responds as it is a growing problem that needs tackling. At Eco Catering we fully support the campaign and hope the Mayor takes steps to implement measures to tackle the usage of polystyrene. If London leads it could also lead to other cities and areas of the UK responding.

We’ll be watching this development with interest.

If you would like to read the full letter, please click here.

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