The recently published Autumn Budget 2017 announced that, in 2018, the government will launch a call for evidence, seeking ideas and opinions about how the tax system might be used to reduce the amount of single use plastics used by society.
This announcement looks to the successful implementation of the five pence charge for plastic carrier bags – a scheme that was implemented in 2015 and has since reduced the number of single-use bags by 80%. The call for evidence will explore ways to replicate this success and continue to reduce the amount of plastic entering our waste streams.
David Palmer-Jones, CEO of SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, said: “We welcome any government initiative which seeks to drive down the use of single-use plastics in favour of more sustainable, recyclable, forms of packaging and products. This is a vital step towards achieving a more resource-efficient society and encouraging producers to take more responsibility for the sustainability of their wares.
“Policy and taxation changes are welcome if they can help reduce the use of virgin materials in favour of more sustainable, recyclable products. But, taxation changes to help the environment need to be just part of much wider policy that marries the protection of our precious natural resources with a modern, sustainable, industrial strategy.
“An extended producer responsibility regime should address all forms of resource usage, materials and packaging production, and their collection, reuse and recycling throughout the supply chain."