Theresa May outlines green plans and plastic bans

Aaron Brown
January 13, 2018

The plan sits alongside two other important government strategies, the Industrial Strategy and Clean Growth strategy.

"As it is produced, we will encourage manufacturers to take responsibility for the impacts of their products and rationalise the number of different types of plastics they use", she said.

Want more stories like this in your inbox? Upgrading facilitiesMr Price said farming facilities will need upgrading to promote significant new development.

Launching the 25 Year Environment Plan, May said: "We look back in horror at some of the damage done to our environment in the past and wonder how anyone could have thought that, for example, dumping toxic chemicals, untreated, into rivers was ever the right thing to do". I am pleased to be leading this holistic initiative which will transform the UK's plastics system.

"The stance that "where Government needs to intervene to ensure high standards are met, we will not hesitate to do so", is very welcome".

But Friends of the Earth waste campaigner Julian Kirby said that the government's record did not match its rhetoric: "If it's avoidable waste, why is it taking us a quarter of a century to get there?"

NFU vice president Guy Smith also reminded government that environmental policy and food production "must go hand in hand".

In addition, the plan restates the government's commitment to the Courthauld Commitment 2025 to cut both greenhouse gas emissions linked to food and drink consumption and per capita food waste by a fifth by 2025.

Carole Taylor, Chair LARAC explained that "the publication of the Environment Plan is a "positive first step" on filling the policy vacuum that in the waste sector".

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Ireland is now the top producer of plastic waste in Europe, producing 61kg of plastic waste per person each year. "Without more funding, councils will struggle to deliver any new aspirations that the Government have".

Marcus Glover, chief executive at WRAP said: "So far the solutions to plastic waste have been piecemeal".

It will advise ministers on the business case for companies to assess, address and report on natural capital risks and opportunities in their operations and supply chains, and look at the options on how to develop new natural capital markets. "And that includes government". Then, it was global warming; now, it is a crusade against plastic.

The plan will be unveiled on Thursday and Whitehall sources confirmed that a consultation on extending the plastic bag charge will form part of it in the coming weeks. Retailers with fewer than 250 employees are now exempted from the charge.

"A comprehensive approach will ensure that we avoid unintended consequences", said Andrew Opie, director of food policy at the BRC.

This was echoed by Mary Creagh, chair of the environment committee, who said the abolition of not charging by small retailers is long overdue.

The only exemptions for the extended 5p levy are likely to be some pharmacies and pet shops selling goldfish.

'Improve within a generation " The overall aim sets out goals for improving the British environment, within a generation, and leaving it in a better state than it was founded. He added: "There was much to welcome".

Wilson added: "If it takes 25 years to reach some of these aims, that will be too long for the development of an economically sustainable plastics recycling sector in the United Kingdom".

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