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Chefs call on mayor to ban polystyrene in capital

24 August 2016
Chefs call on mayor to ban polystyrene in capital

A group of top chefs and food experts have called on Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to issue a capital-wide ban on polystyrene packaging.

The chefs, led by Ed Baines (pictured), founder and head chef of the Soho restaurant Randall and Aubin, include Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Theo Randall, Mark Hix, and food critic William Sitwell.

They all have concerns about the environmental and health impact of polystyrene, the cost of recycling the product, and the amount of rubbish it creates.

In an open letter to the Mayor, signed by the group, Baines said: "Not only are the mountains of polystyrene waste environmentally damaging and unsightly, it has also been shown to be harmful to health! We should be doing everything we can to get Londoners to use safer, environmentally friendly, recyclable packaging."

Signatories are concerned that the packaging is contributing heavily to London's poor performance at recycling, which is lower than many other areas in the UK. Khan's election manifesto promised to get London on track to achieve the target for 65% recycled waste for 2030.

The letter has also noted that produce could be packaged in more environmentally friendly materials. Polystyrene is a difficult and expensive material to recycle, which means it usually ends up in a landfill.

by Charlotte Flach

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