Plastic Waste in Lockdown, Dental Plans, Disability and the Arts
Has the war on single use plastic taken a backseat in lockdown? Patients complain about paying for dental care when they can't access treatment.
Reducing single use plastic was top of the environmental agenda not so long ago. Has that taken a backseat during lockdown? The government's ban on straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds made of plastic has been delayed by six months. A government consultation for a tax on plastic packaging has been extended until August. As coffee shops reopen some big brands have refused to use reusable cups on safety grounds, and many pubs offering takeaway beers to stay in business will be doing so with plastic disposable cups.
Unless you're in pain, most of us have been unable to access dental treatment for more than three months. Dental surgeries in Wales will begin to reopen, in England some have been seeing patients for the last four weeks. In Scotland, dental surgeries are yet to reopen to non urgent cases. We've heard complaints from patients who pay monthly for their dental care, via a private scheme called Denplan. Customers have been told they must continue their monthly payments, even if their dental and hygienist appointments have been cancelled. We look at how private dental plans work.
Dozens of the UK's leading disabled artists have written to the culture secretary warning him not to forget disabled staff and audiences when theatres, concert halls and other media reopen after Covid. The government's Disability Arts champion says disabled people must be part of the plan on how to reopen venues and how to make access, toilets, and social distancing safe for everyone.
Presented by Winifred Robinson
Produced by Beatrice Pickup