United Kingdom launches 25-year plastic waste plan

UK’s May announces 25-year environmental plan including plastic waste reduction

In addition to the expected extension of the 5p plastics bag levy and a possible charge on single-use plastics containers, the Prime Minister confirmed other initiatives will include include plastics packaging free supermarket aisles, where food is sold loose, along with new research funding for "plastics innovation" and aid to help developing nations deal with their plastics waste. It is highly doubtful that simply providing alternative materials will actually reduce littering in the United Kingdom, as this is an issue of personal behaviour. The calls for evidence provide an opportunity to bring about much-needed reform of the regulatory regime now governing packaging recovery and recycling to nurture a full-blooded domestic recycling culture that is not dependent upon the export of waste for recycling overseas. They provide protection for products and prevent food waste.

May said she would look at plastic bottle deposits and would launch a call for evidence next month on whether to impose taxes or charges on single use plastics.

"What we would like to see is PRN reform on the terms of reference", said Kersh.

Lorax Compliance chief operating officer Michelle Carvell said that "real opportunities" had been missed to create a joined-up policy to tackle "the UK's mounting waste crisis". "It says very little and promises to deliver even less, with no legal force included in the strategy". He said that the plan "rightly places our environment at the heart of government strategy".

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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.

May unveiled the news as part of a "national plan of action" in which a new environmental agenda is set to take centre stage. Samantha Harding, litter programme director said: "It's impressive the government has chosen to respond so emphatically to the plastic plague that is already putting our countryside, cities and oceans at risk of irreversible harm".

The premier underlined that single-use plastic waste was "ingested by dozens of species of marine animals and over 100 species of sea birds, causing enormous suffering to individual creatures and degrading vital habitats".

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