From: Packaging News
The Prime Minister has set out the government’s strategy on plastic with plans to tax single-use plastic packaging and assist supermarkets to create plastic-free aisles.
Speaking at the launch of the government’s 25 year environmental plan, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “In years to come, I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly. Today I can confirm that the UK will demonstrate global leadership. We must reduce the demand for plastic, reduce the number of plastics in circulation and improve our recycling rates.
“Supermarkets also need to do much more to cut down on unnecessary plastic packaging. We will work with them to explore introducing plastic free aisles where all food can be sold loose.”
The Prime Minister also confirmed plans to explore a tax or charge on single-use packaging. “This success [of the 5p carrier bag charge] should inspire us,” she said. “We will extend the 5p charge to all retailers. Next month, we will launch a call for evidence on taxes or charges on single use plastics.
“We will also use the UK’s international influence to drive positive change around the world. When we host the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in April, we will put the sustainable development of our oceans firmly on the agenda. We will work with our partners to create a Commonwealth Blue Charter for strong action to reduce plastic waste in the oceans. We will direct our development spending to help developing nations reduce plastic waste, increase our own marine protection areas at home and establish blue protections in our overseas territories.”
May praised the BBC’s Blue Planet II for highlighting the problem of plastics in the ocean and also paid tribute to the Daily Mail for its campaign on plastic waste.
“I congratulate the Daily Mail as it has done a good job in alerting the public on this issue,” she added.
A holistic initiative is currently in development by WRAP in a joint partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
WRAP said that the initiative aims to eliminate “unnecessary and problematic single-use packaging” as well as ensuring all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable. It also aims to increase the collection and recycling of plastic packaging. In addition, it targets increasing recycled content in plastic packaging and enable citizens to “play their part in reducing plastic packaging waste and litter”.
Marcus Glover, chief executive at WRAP said: “So far the solutions to plastic waste have been piecemeal. I am pleased to be leading this holistic initiative which will transform the UK’s plastics system. Working with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, we will bring together every ‘body, business and organisation’ involved in the life-cycle of plastics to make the move from a throw away culture to one where resources are used over and over again.”
Dame Ellen MacArthur added: “For plastic to become valued and never become waste it’s imperative that everybody from those producing it, collecting it, sorting it and recycling it, to those using it as well as government, NGOs and media are involved. Everyone in the UK can and should engage.”