Theresa May 'declares war on plastic'

Theresa May 'declares war on plastic'

Farming and the environment has to go hand-in-hand in new Whitehall policy, the National Farmers' Union has warned, following the long-awaited publication of the Government's 25-year Environment Plan.

Mr Gove's department has also said it is looking at proposals from the Environmental Audit Committee for a new 25p "latte levy" on disposable coffee cups to help reduce waste.

Working with retailers and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to explore introducing plastic-free supermarket aisles in which all the food is loose.

The broader 25-year plan, first promised three years ago, will also urge supermarkets to set up "plastic-free aisles" for goods with no packaging and confirm plans to extend the 5p charge for carrier bags to all English retailers.

She also seeks to extend the 5-pence charge on plastic bags (about 7 cents) to small retailers who are now exempt. It is also considering a deposit scheme to encourage recycling of plastic bottles.

The association makes the point, as has PlasticsToday in numerous articles, that plastics save energy, enable fuel savings in vehicles and aircraft through lightweighting and prevent food waste.

Taken together with the Government's industrial strategy, it provides "a coherent approach to boosting economic productivity, prosperity and growth, while at the same time restoring and enhancing our natural environment". In a speech later today Theresa May will say people will be "shocked" at how much plastic is wasted.

In addition to considering a new tax system or charges to further reduce plastic waste, the government intends to bring measures to inject new funding into plastics innovation through the its £7bn research and development pot.

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She called plastic waste "one of the great environmental scourges of our time", adding: "In the United Kingdom alone, the amount of single-use plastic wasted every year would fill 1,000 Royal Albert Halls".

The NFU view, in response to this call, was to issue its own plea for a "coherent approach" throughout the next 25 years of United Kingdom environmental development.

'Today I can confirm that the United Kingdom will demonstrate global leadership.

Theresa May has laid out a 25-year plan for reducing waste and tackling climate change.

Gove said: "We will radically reduce the waste that is choking oceans and rivers, cleanse our air of toxic pollutants and create new habitats for our most precious wildlife to thrive".

The Prime Minister on Thursday vowed to take action on the "scourge" of plastic by 2042, pledging to slash the production of single-use packaging which ends up polluting countryside and beaches and poisoning the world's oceans.

On plastics, Mrs May said: "Today I can confirm that the United Kingdom will demonstrate global leadership on plastics. and we must reduce demand and increase recycling rates".