5p charge on plastic bags could be extended to smaller shops

by Garry Watts January 13, 2018, 0:29
5p charge on plastic bags could be extended to smaller shops

The British prime minister, Theresa May, has pledged to eradicate all avoidable plastic waste in the United Kingdom by 2042.

The proposals were welcomed by A Plastic Planet, a UK-based group that has been campaigning for plastic-free supermarket aisles.

Wilson added: "If it takes 25 years to reach some of these aims, that will be too long for the development of an economically sustainable plastics recycling sector in the United Kingdom".

It is just another example of the European Union single market delivering environmental benefits for the United Kingdom, which the government's Hard Brexit policy threatens to undermine.

Key to this is a crackdown on throwaway plastics.

The Prime Minister also confirmed plans to explore a tax or charge on single-use packaging.

May said: "In the United Kingdom alone, the amount of single-use plastic wasted every year would fill 1,000 Royal Albert Halls".

The Environmental Pillar - a coalition of 26 national environmental organisations - welcomed the move by the United Kingdom, and called on the Irish Government to show more urgency in bringing about policy change to tackle the "growing scourge of plastic pollution".

One of the most relevant pieces for sustainability professionals is the pledge to kickstart a green business council that will help the Government to "encourage incentivise and create the right conditions for private sector innovation in green enterprise and environmental entrepreneurialism".

The head of the committee, Labour MP Mary Creagh, said the change could lead to consumers bringing their own cups to buy coffee. "So the Government is simply playing catch up with this announcement". On Sunday, Mrs May promised a clampdown on plastic waste.

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The 5p plastic bag charge is to be extended to nearly all shops in England, the Government has confirmed.

We welcome the Prime Minister's rejection of the false choice between enhancing our environment and promoting economic growth.

Many of the UK's landscapes have been ravaged by development, intensive farming and sheep grazing.

The plans further outlined proposals to release a "resources and waste strategy" in 2018 aimed at making the United Kingdom "a world leader in resource efficiency".

Political opponents were sceptical about the scope and timescale of the plans.

There are huge pressures on the natural world from urgently needed house-building; HS2 threatens scores of ancient woodlands; and the Department for Transport has a major road-building programme.

Greenpeace called the omission "a glaring gap" in a plan that it described as "a missed opportunity" to tackle the UK's plastic problem.

Officially titled A Green Future: Our 25-year Plan to Improve the Environment, the 150-page strategy's executive summary says the plan "looks forward to delivering a green Brexit", and elaborates on some of the post-EU-membership agriculture policies mooted by Gove last week.

The scheme would see retailers increase the price of plastic bottles, but allow customers to get their money back when they return the empty bottles.

Sue Hayman, shadow environment secretary, called it "a cynical attempt at rebranding".

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