Chancellor Philip Hammond today pledged that the government is to tackle single-use plastic waste damaging the environment.
In his Spring financial statement today (13 March), Mr Hammond announced a call for evidence on how changes to the tax system or charging could be used to reduce the levels of single waste plastics.
A research fund is also being established for work by universities and others into the topic to drive innovation and achieve beneficial environmental outcomes.
In the consultation statement, the Chancellor references the environmental impacts of plastics and the growing public awareness of the issue through coverage on television and other media in recent months.
Call for evidence
The consultation document is entitled: “Tackling the plastic problem: using the tax system or charges to address single-use plastic waste” and is available at: Treasury consultations. It notes that financial measures do exist in the environmental sector including the Landfill Tax and the PRN packaging waste regulations.
The consultation documentation says that “This call for evidence will explore how changes to the tax system or charges could be used to reduce the amount of single-use plastics we waste in order to deliver better environmental outcomes, which would be the primary objective of any such intervention.”
It continues: “Specifically, the government would like to understand how further economic incentives can be effective in continuing to reduce waste from single-use plastics by reducing unnecessary production, increasing reuse, and improving recycling. Alongside this, the government would like to explore how the same economic incentives can drive innovation, for example by stimulating businesses to develop and integrate new technology, or by encouraging growth in the recycling industry by addressing barriers to investment.”
Reuse and recycling
The Treasury said that the call for evidence “will explore how changes to the tax system or charges could be used to reduce the amount of single-use plastics we waste by reducing unnecessary production, increasing reuse, and improving recycling”.
“The government,” said the Treasury, “will consider all options for using the tax system to address single-use plastic waste and to drive innovation, and will use the evidence gathered from this call to inform that process. The government wants to look broadly across the whole supply chain, from production and retail to consumption and disposal, in order to gain the best possible understanding of the whole landscape before deciding on the best course of action.”
Consultation on Tackling the plastic problem.