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10 March 2022 Press Release


In the House on Lords on Monday 7 March, in response to a question on single use plastics asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch, Defra Minister Lord Goldsmith of Richmond not only admitted to dropping litter but clearly implied it is acceptable to do so. He said: “ … although as a smoker, I use biodegradable paper filters; they are just as good and you can drop them on the ground without feeling too bad”.

The FPA challenges Lord Goldsmith to issue an apology and acknowledge that this statement flies in the face of the work undertaken by the UK’s litter charities to discourage the public from dropping any litter irrespective of material. The FPA has a policy of banning the term biodegradable in relationship to packaging unless in relationship to certified compostable packaging where it is clearly stated that it will only biodegrade as part of an industrial composting process. There is no biodegradable certification and packaging and other items using this term are highly likely to encourage littering.


Executive Director Martin Kersh said: “We expect Defra Ministers to take a lead in discouraging littering and set an example to the public – cigarettes ends are the most littered item in the UK. There are, after all, members of the public who erroneously believe it is acceptable to drop fruit peelings and similar on the ground because they eventually biodegrade. Litter, even if it is going to decompose, is still litter and is simply not acceptable and so we urge local authorities to issued fixed penalty notices for all litter including so called biodegradable items. Littering no doubt is a habit for some and Lord Goldsmith’s statement does nothing to help break the litter habit.”


Adds Martin: “Baroness Jones of Whitchurch asked when HM Government would be banning the sale of all single use plastics and other single use material, which would include much grocery packaging. Of course these materials are not all single use. Not once in any of his answers did Lord Goldsmith refer to the term ‘recycling’”.


Ends                                                                                                                        9 March 2022


Issued on behalf of the Foodservice Packaging Association by Leapfrog PR. Editorial contact is Felicity Read on 07887 608353 or email