Single-use plastic plates, cutlery, and polystyrene cups could be banned in England as part of government efforts to cut waste.
Each person uses 18 single-use plastic plates and 37 single-use plastic items of cutlery annually in England, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
But the durability that makes plastic cutlery so useful also means it can last for centuries in landfill, the countryside, or the ocean.
More than one million birds and more than 100,000 sea mammals and turtles die every year after eating plastic waste or getting tangled in it.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “We’ve all seen the damage that plastic does to our environment.
“It is right that we put in place measures that will tackle the plastic carelessly strewn across our parks and green spaces and washed up on beaches.
“We have made progress to turn the tide on plastic, banning the supply of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds, while our carrier bag charge has cut sales by 95% in the main supermarkets.
“Now we are looking to go a step further as we build back greener.
“These plans will help us stamp out the unnecessary use of plastics that wreak havoc with our natural environment.”
A government consultation will be launched in autumn on the possible ban.
Jo Morley, head of campaigns at City to Sea, said: “We welcome the news that the government are taking steps to tackle some of the most polluting single-use items.
“This is a much-needed move that we as campaigners have been calling for, along with thousands of our supporters and members of the public.
“We need now to take a leading role in banning unnecessary single-use plastics to see real benefits for the nation’s and the world’s wildlife.”
They would also form part of England’s commitment to preventing avoidable plastic waste by 2042, Defra said.
Sky News has launched the first daily prime time news show dedicated to climate change.
The Daily Climate Show is broadcast at 6.30pm and 9.30pm Monday to Friday on Sky News, the Sky News website and app, on YouTube and Twitter.
Hosted by Anna Jones, it follows Sky News correspondents as they investigate how global warming is changing our landscape and how we all live our lives.
The show also highlights solutions to the crisis and how small changes can make a big difference.