Chancellor set to unveil plastic waste consultation

The chancellor is set to launch a public consultation on how the tax system could be used to tackle plastic waste.

Philip Hammond is expected to use his first Spring Statement tomorrow (13 March) to call for evidence from industry, the public and environmental groups about how the government can built on the plastic bag levy.

In November the chancellor announced in the Budget that ministers would be looking at how the tax system could be used to deliver the government’s target of scrapping all avoidable plastic waste by 2042.

The chancellor is also expected to unveil a £20m innovation fund for businesses and universities to develop new technologies and approaches to achieve its target.

Hammond said: “Single-use plastics waste is a scourge to our environment. From crisp packets to coffee cups, each year the UK produces millions of tonnes of waste which is neither recyclable nor biodegradable.

“We are determined to create an environment that is fit for future generations. By working with industry, innovators and the public I am confident we can bring about real change.”

Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said it makes sense for the chancellor to be looking at ways of taxing single-use plastic.

“The success of the plastic bag charge shows that a smart and well-aimed government intervention can change behaviour and greatly reduce plastic waste.

“But launching a consultation should not delay vital action. Scotland is already planning to ban plastic straws by the end of 2019 and Iceland is working flat out to phase out plastic packaging in the next five years. By contrast, the UK government aim to phase out some throwaway plastic by 2042 has started to look unambitious. There are concrete steps ministers could take right now, such as rolling out a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles or banning plastic straws, and they should get on with it.”


Article originally appeared on Talking Retail

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