United Kingdom declares war on plastic waste

  • United Kingdom declares war on plastic waste

United Kingdom declares war on plastic waste

"In years to come, I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly".

Setting an example in the eradication of avoidable plastic waste, May said that the government would seek to reduce single-use plastics in its workplace and suggested that other large organizations should consider banning staff from using them in their workplace, as well.

She said: "Today I can confirm that the United Kingdom will demonstrate global leadership". She outlined plans for a tax or charge on single use packaging and urged retailers to introduce plastic-free aisles.

To stop plastics entering the sea from the West, the plastics industry would like to see a tougher stance on littering. "Plastics should not be in the sea", adds the BPF, "and it is right that the United Kingdom, alongside other developed nations, should set an example of best practice". As has been pointed out, the vast quantity of plastics in the seas arrive there from the less developed economies of Asia, which have rudimentary waste management systems. It should be noted that the types of products that enter the marine environment from the United Kingdom tend to be those that have been irresponsibly littered - not packaging materials for fresh produce that are typically consumed at home and then disposed of responsibly. Cutting out plastic packaging for fresh produce will actually harm the environment through increased Carbon dioxide emissions because the energy used to produce food is much greater than in the packaging protecting it.

The current 5p plastic bag charge only applies to companies of over 250 employees but May said, given its "inspiring" success in reducing the number of plastic bags by nine million, she will extend it to smaller shops.

It will also aim to make sure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable, increase the collection and recycling of plastic packaging and increase the recycled content to drive demand for recycled plastic material.

He added that Brexit would not result in a reduction in environmental protection: "I've already said that we want to set the global gold standard when it comes to the environment, and for animal welfare". But campaign groups said the aspirations would need to be backed up by legislation.

WRAP's CEO Marcus Glover said that this expansive approach is important: "So far the solutions to plastic waste have been piecemeal".

Meanwhile changes to the tax system and charges on single-use plastic items such as takeaway containers will also be considered, according to May's Downing Street office, which released a preview of her remarks.

"The most glaring gap is support for deposit return schemes" on plastic bottles, Edge added.