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Unprecedented 130,000 call on the Treasury to raise taxes to help eliminate plastic waste spoiling our seas and countryside
- Public revulsion at plastic pollution has triggered an unprecedented response
- More than 130,000 people wrote to the Treasury with ideas on curbing waste
- The Chancellor said he wanted to use tax system to reduce amount of single-use plastics
Public revulsion at plastic pollution has triggered an unprecedented response to a call for ideas to tackle the problem through the tax system.
More than 130,000 people wrote to the Treasury with ideas on how to curb the waste spoiling our seas, rivers and countryside.
The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, announced in this year’s Spring Statement in March he wanted to use the tax system to reduce the amount of single-use plastics such as cups, takeaway boxes, straws and coffee stirrers.
The response was the largest ever received by the Treasury to a public consultation. It closed on May 18.
Public revulsion at plastic pollution has triggered an unprecedented response to a call for ideas to tackle the problem through the tax system
The Daily Mail – which has campaigned against plastic waste for the past ten years – has led calls for a crackdown on single-use products.
And awareness of the menace of plastic pollution has been heightened by the Blue Planet II documentary with Sir David Attenborough.
The ideas from the consultation will help deliver the Government’s target of eliminating avoidable plastic waste by 2042.
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick, told MPs: ‘It is a rare day on which a Treasury call for evidence on tax stirs the enthusiasm of the general public, but this one has.
More than 130,000 people wrote to the Treasury with ideas on how to curb the waste spoiling our seas, rivers and countryside
‘We received a record 130,000 submissions. We are determined to tackle the scourge of single-use plastics.’
Some 28 charities and pressure groups including Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the Wildlife Trusts, the RSPCA and WWF have put together a joint platform of ideas. These include:
÷Bans on ‘pointless plastics’ where non-plastic alternatives exist, such as sachets, plastic cutlery and coffee stirrers.
÷Taxes on ‘problem plastics’ which cannot easily be recycled such as carbon-black plastics found in vegetable trays, expanded polystyrene, and PVC.
÷Item specific taxes on all remaining single-use plastics and packaging – such as cups and takeaway containers where taxes could be effective at shifting behaviour to reusable and lower impact alternatives.
÷A tax on virgin plastics at the production stage to encourage use of more recycled content.
÷A reformed ‘producer responsibility’ scheme whereby retailers and plastic producers pay more to cover the ‘end of life’ costs of the plastic they use.
On Tuesday June 5 the world is being asked to avoid plastic-packed food and drinks for 24 hours by the campaign group A Plastic Planet.
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