Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

U.K. Government Seeks Public's Advice on Cutting Plastic Use

  • Fund set up to help businesses develop new technologies
  • Recycling of plastic waste remains at low level in U.K.

U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond will seek the public’s view on how the country can be a leader in reducing plastic waste.

Suggestions will be sought on how the tax system can be used to encourage new technology and bring about behavioral change required to cut the usage of single-use plastics, the Chancellor said ahead of his “Spring Statement” to Parliament on March 13 in which he will update the country on economic policies.

The consultation will seek views from individuals, environmental groups and industry alongside the creation of an innovation fund worth 20 million pounds ($27.7 million). This will be available to businesses and universities to develop new technologies as the government targets eliminating avoidable plastic waste by 2042.

“Single-use plastics waste is a scourge to our environment. From crisp packets to coffee cups, each year the U.K. produces millions of tonnes of waste which is neither recycle-able nor biodegradable,” Hammond said. “We are determined to create an environment that is fit for future generations. By working with industry, innovators and the public I am confident we can bring about real change.”

The U.K. creates 2.26 million tons of plastic packaging waste a year, of which around a third is recycled.

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