United Kingdom commits to eliminate avoidable plastic waste by 2042

United Kingdom commits to eliminate avoidable plastic waste by 2042

United Kingdom commits to eliminate avoidable plastic waste by 2042

Theresa May has defended her 25-year plan to protect the environment as campaigners called for "emergency" action now.

The Government's overarching plan to achieve zero avoidable waste by 2050 and double resource productivity by 2042 will be facilitated by a new national Resources and Waste strategy. Vanden Recycling also welcomes proposals that include local markets returning high quality materials back to the economy.

Also under examination is a call from the all-party Environmental Audit Committee of MPs last week for, nearly none of which are recycled.

Marcus Gover, CEO at WRAP, said: "So far the solutions to plastic waste have been piecemeal". In a speech which pundits are already claiming is too little, too late - and which credited Sir David Attenborough's BBC series that showed the true extent of the plastic problem as an incentive for the changes - May set out the government's plans.

The Government is seeking to embed a "net environmental gain" principle for development such as housing and new transport links, to ensire that biodiversity is left in a better state than before.

Andy Dobson, Operations Director for Total Recycling Services added: "Political support for addressing the issues of global plastic pollution is a welcome step - albeit in what appears to be a long-term vision".

The Prime Minister said she wanted to "make ours the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than we found it", while confirming that the 5p bag charge will be extended to all shops.

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Under current rules the charge applies exclusively to larger stores with more than 250 workers, so it's been seen primarily as a supermarket bag tax.

Andrew Opie, director of food policy at the British Retail Consortium, the trade association for United Kingdom retailers, explained that the retail industry wants to see a holistic approach to the environment and resources.

As previously announced in the Autumn budget, it will also look at adding a charge to single-use plastic items, such as coffee cups. The Government is determined to tackle the throwaway culture which plastics encapsulate'.

"All shops, including small corner shops, have always been covered by the 5p carrier bag charge in Wales and Scotland, unlike England". Since its introduction in October 2015, this has led to nine billion fewer plastic bags being used, according to the government.

Launched by the Prime Minister, the wide-ranging 150-page strategy sets out government action to help the natural world regain and retain good health, aiming to deliver cleaner air and water in cities and rural landscapes, while also protecting threatened species and providing richer wildlife habitats.

A new environmental watchdog is also in the making, which will hold government to account for environmental standards, and setting out a new approach to agriculture and fisheries management. "This is the right ambition, setting us apart from a race to the bottom that would only end badly for the United Kingdom".

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