British government may expand plastics bag charge

Christopher Furlong via Getty Images                   The government's successful 5p plastic bag charge is to be extended to small shops

Christopher Furlong via Getty Images The government's successful 5p plastic bag charge is to be extended to small shops

The prime minister said her long-term strategy, including eradicating all avoidable plastic waste in the United Kingdom by 2042, would allow future generations to "enjoy a lovely environment".

"We must reduce the demand for plastic, reduce the number of plastics in circulation and improve our recycling rates", she said.

Mr Hayler added that the role of Energy from Waste and the "urgent" need for investment in new facilities should be considered when thinking about the waste that remains once efforts to recycle have been exhausted.

'Today I can confirm that the United Kingdom will demonstrate global leadership.

The Government's overarching plan to achieve zero avoidable waste by 2050 and double resource productivity by 2042 will be facilitated by a new national Resources and Waste strategy.

"This plan sets out the further action we will take".

The speech comes as The Guardian reported this week that the government's Brexit Withdrawal Bill may have breached the worldwide Aarhus convention, which requires public consultation on new environmental legislation.

She said: "We will incorporate all existing European Union environmental regulations into domestic legalisation when we leave".

However, despite the government announcing plans to extend this scheme to all retailers, a date for the change has yet to be set. He also pointed to the detail within the plan which shows that Government has taken on board some of the challenges faced by the recycling sector.

May said: "I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly". "Without more funding, councils will struggle to deliver any new aspirations that the Government have". Its chief executive, Simon Ellin says the industry has "been talking about driving improvements for many years" but warned that "simply having a vision" will not suffice.

"Urgent action is needed on plastic pollution, dirty air, changes to our climate and protecting our precious natural heritage, here in the United Kingdom and around the world".

It will advise ministers on the business case for companies to assess, address and report on natural capital risks and opportunities in their operations and supply chains, and look at the options on how to develop new natural capital markets.

Such policy recommendations were included in the Pillar's Budget 2018 submission but were "ultimately ignored" by the Government, according to the coalition.

"We don't want to go back to being the "dirty man of Europe", she added.

There will be a consultation on extending the plastic bag charge as part of the 25-year environment plan.

In 2015, Britain introduced a charge of five pence on all single-use plastic bags provided by large shops, which led to an 83% reduction in United Kingdom plastic bags used in the first year.

"A comprehensive approach will ensure that we avoid unintended consequences", said Andrew Opie, director of food policy at the BRC.

Environmental groups have welcomed indications that the Government could introduce a tax but have urged ministers to act swiftly and decisively.

"The environment secretary also said that he was working collaboratively with the secretary of state for worldwide development to look at using aid money on the environmental agenda, such as reducing pollution by plastics", the spokesperson added.

The UK government is planning to eradicate all avoidable plastic waste in the country within next 25 years.

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