Plastic pollution
January 15, 2018

PM’s 25 Year Plastic Plan To Eradicate Avoidable Waste

Last week, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced a 25 year plastic plan which aims to eradicate avoidable plastic waste. It comes as part of a commitment the government is making to vastly improve our natural environment, and drastically reduce the impact of single use plastic on our oceans and landscapes.

Saying “I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly”, the PM is launching a plan that will aim to urge supermarkets to produce ‘plastic free aisles’, and potentially introduce taxes or charges on single use plastic containers used at places like takeaways.

The announcements, which have been approved by the cabinet, will also include:

  • Extending the 5 plastic bag charge of single use plastic bags to all retailers across England, even smaller ones and corner shops which were previously exempt.
  • Consider a levy on all single use plastics, including disposable cups, cutlery and straws
  • Launching a scheme to allow children to visit wildlife sites to increase their awareness and education about our impact on the natural world
  • Announce plans to use the £13 billion foreign aid budget to help go towards cleaning up oceans and beaches

There has also been talk of a deposit scheme on plastic bottles, though this is not yet confirmed.

It’s thought that this initiative may have been propelled forward by the coverage of issues with plastic pollution shown on various platforms, including David Attenbrough’s Blue Planet.

Some think that this new 25 year strategy to reduce pollution is part of the Tory party’s effort to forge greater connection with younger voters  – along with them dropping the idea of repealing the fox hunting ban, cracking down on the ivory trade and giving tougher convictions to those who abuse animals.

As such, the proposed plan has had mixed reception; some green groups want the plans to have more legal force behind them, and Jeremy Corbyn is said to believe that a plan that takes 25 years to complete just isn’t acting quickly enough.

Regardless of the motives behind the plan, action in this area is desperately needed. During her announcement, Mrs May warned that Britain throws away enough single-use plastic every year to fill the Royal Albert Hall 1,000 times. There’s been a total of over 8 billion tons of plastic produced in the 1950s – which is set to quadruple in the next three decades – and most of that is left to pollute our rivers and oceans. In the English channel, one in three fish that are caught contain plastic, and a recent clean up by the Marine Conservation Society found that on average, there were 718 pieces of litter for every 100 metres of beach.

We’re committed to doing what we can to reduce our impact on the environment with our product and services. If you’re looking for printed bags that are as green as possible, we recommend our twisted and flat handle paper bags. Both of these products are made using FSC certified paper, meaning that they were produced in way that ensures the safety of forests in generations to come.

We’ll do our best to keep you updated with any developments regarding levies on plastic products in the Latest News section of our blog.

Information for this post came from this Daily Mail article, and this BBC News piece.