The launch of a new 25 Year Environment Plan setting out the Government’s determination to leave our environment in a better state than we found it, has been welcomed by Maria Caulfield MP.
The Government plans to eliminate avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042.
To help achieve this, the Government will extend the 5p carrier bag charge to all retailers in England. To date, we have used nine billion fewer plastic bags as a direct consequence of introducing the charge.
The Government will also work with supermarkets to encourage them to introduce plastic-free aisles in which all the food is loose. This will give consumers the choice to make greener decisions and promote the use of less damaging plastic packaging.
To encourage industry to take more responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products and make them easier to recycle, the Government will also look at how the tax system or charges could further reduce the amount of waste we create. A call for evidence on how to reduce the use of single-use plastics will begin next month.
It is estimated that 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced since the 1950s. Research indicates that without urgent action to cut demand this is likely to be 34 billion tonnes by 2050.
In the UK alone, during its recent Great British Beach Clean Up, the Marine Conservation Society found 718 pieces of litter for every 100 metre stretch of beach surveyed, and of this rubbish from food and drink made up at least one fifth.
Maria Caulfield MP said “We intend to be the first generation since the industrial revolution to leave our environment in a better state than which we found it. This is an ambitious task but for the future of our planet it is something that must be done.”
“Reducing our society’s dependency on single use unrecyclable plastics is a must and I am proud to back the Prime Minister’s target to end avoidable plastic waste by 2042.”
“We are already introducing excellent environmental policies such as banning microbeads, the 5p carrier bad charge and its extension to more shops as well as plans to look at further charges for difficult to recycle single use items and bottle deposit schemes.”