UK plans to eliminate avoidable plastic waste by 2042

The government wants supermarkets to introduce plastic-free aisles and intends to inject new funding into plastics innovation, she will say in a speech outlining proposals. Meanwhile changes to the tax system and charges on single-use plastic items such as takeaway containers will also be considered, according to May’s Downing Street office, which released a preview of her remarks. “In years to come, I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly,” May will say. “One million birds, and over 100,000 other sea mammals and turtles die every year from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste. One in three fish caught in the English Channel contains pieces of plastic. “This truly is one of the great environmental scourges of our time.” However, opposition leaders and environmental campaigners were quick to condemn the proposals as dangerously insufficient. Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, the fourth-biggest party in parliament, said Britain should be “eliminating all avoidable plastic waste now — a target of 2042 beggars belief”. Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said the measures “don’t match the scale of the environmental crisis we face. “The overall plastics plan lacks urgency, detail and bite,” she said. “The most glaring gap is support for deposit return schemes” on plastic bottles, Edge added. “We just can’t wait another 25 years before eliminating throwaway plastic.” Among its proposals, the government intends to encourage supermarkets to introduce plastic-free aisles in which all the food… [Read full story]

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