Tax on single use plastic?

Plastics will be put under scrutiny as the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced plans this week to look into a tax that could help reduce the amount of single use plastic waste.

During this week’s Autumn statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond said the UK wanted to be a ‘world leader in tackling the scourge of plastic littering planet and oceans.

He said: “We can’t keep our promise to the next generation to build an economy fit for the future unless we ensure our planet has a future.”

The announcement has drawn reaction from various sectors.

Gavin Partington, director general at British Soft Drinks Association, said: “The soft drinks sector has always taken recycling, littering and the environment very seriously. PET plastic bottles used within the sector are 100% recyclable and it is important that consumers are encouraged to dispose of recyclable materials responsibly.

“We acknowledge that more needs to be done, and we want to work with Government and others to address issues within our current recycling infrastructure as a matter of priority.

Dr Mike Barrett, WWF director of science and policy, said: “Too often birds, fish, turtles and whales are found dead having eaten plastic. Plastic is suffocating our seas. There is no greater example of the havoc we have on the natural world.

“Any action to tackle single-use plastic is a good thing, but we must ensure any action is truly ambitious if we want to make the real difference needed to help save the planet.”