UK – In a bid to tackle plastic pollution, UK Chancellor, Philip Hammond has launched a public consultation on single-use plastics tax in the middle of an outrage to tackle the impact of plastic pollution on the environment.
At the same time, he unveiled a US$24.73 million innovation fund for businesses and universities to develop new technologies in plastic recycling.
Hammond called on the industry, green groups and the public to provide evidence on how to reduce the amount of plastic waste.
However, the government did not make any new decisions on what products to impose charges on, says the Guardian.
The move has received approval from the industry are playing a vital role in addressing the plastic menace by embracing emerging ‘green’ formulations of plastic, such as biodegradable plastics.
Executive Director of the Foodservice Packaging Association, Martin Kersh, welcomed the public consultation, saying that it was an opportunity to enhance inclusive dialogue.
It also received support from campaigners and politicians who accused the government of delaying the actions aimed at introducing taxation and new levies to tackle plastic waste.
The British government had earlier rejected a US$0.31 ‘latte levy’ proposal on disposable coffee cups.
In order to minimise single-use plastic packaging, the Chancellor has called for introduction of plastic tax targeting disposable coffee cups, takeaway boxes and polystyrene packaging.
“We must take bold action to become a world leader in tackling the scourge of single-use plastic littering our streets, countryside and coastline.
From crisp packets to coffee cups, each year the UK produces millions of tons of waste which is neither recyclable nor biodegradable,” said Hammond.
In its 25-year environment plan deemed ‘A Green Future’, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the government was working to a target of eliminating avoidable plastic waste by end of 2042.