Government reveals plans to eliminate avoidable plastic waste

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

So, while she may have taken credit for a policy her government fought to water down and block, Britain's exit from the European Union may do some good, by replacing our contribution with money raised through the lessening of environmentally-harmful plastic that other countries, that don't have to pronounce themselves global leaders are already working towards.

In response to the publication of the Environment Plan, ACS chief executive James Lowman, said: "The commitment to consulting on a coherent strategy including cutting plastic waste is the right approach for delivering lasting benefits".

At present, shops with fewer that 250 employees are exempt from the levy, which according to the government has contributed to an nearly 90 per cent reduction in use of single-use plastics bags in England since its introduction in October 2015.

Green and animal welfare policies have become one of the key tenants of Tory party messaging since the 2017 election, with Environment Secretary Michael Gove winning praise for his first six months in the job.

"According to Prime Minister Theresa May: "[We] stand against the profligate use of resources - whether that is public money or natural resources".

The government released its 25 year Environment Strategy yesterday (January 11), in which there was a pledge to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by 2042.

The Government said it had contributed to a 90% fall in the use of plastic bags.

Image: Michael Gove holds a reusable coffee cup as he arrives in Downing Street.

Responding to today's announcement, the Food & Drink Federation (FDF) said it would be studying the details of the plan, and hoped it would help create a long-term framework in which businesses could operate. A consultation is now under way.

Figures published last July showed that nine billion fewer bags had been used and that more than £66m had been given by supermarkets to good causes from the 5p charge. The Government is to introduce a raft of proposals created to eliminate all avoidable plastic by 2042. "We will extend the 5p charge to all retailers".

It's also reported the government will also use United Kingdom aid money to help developing nations reduce their own waste and will invest in "plastics innovation".

Video: Would a latte levy reduce waste?

Shoppers who shun plastic packaging could skip busy supermarket queues under proposals put forward by Theresa May.

Experts have estimated the levy could raise £438m and lead to a 30% reduction in the number of cups as more people carry their own. Some within the green community have hailed the document for its sense of direction and ambition to tackle plastic waste and enhance biodiversity, while others have lamented the lack of legal basis to underpin these ambitions. It is also considering a deposit scheme to encourage recycling of plastic bottles.

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