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CPRE reaction to government announcement of measures to tackle plastic pollution

29 October 2018

Measures announced by the Chancellor today to address the environmental crisis caused by single-use plastics do not go far enough in halting the damage to our countryside and oceans caused by litter and plastic pollution. 

CPRE welcomes the introduction of a tax on plastic products that do not include sufficient recycled plastic, but expressed disappointment that the Chancellor failed to commit to a levy on disposable beverage cups such as coffee cups. CPRE hopes that the upcoming Waste and Resources strategy and Packaging Recovery Note reforms will instead take up this mantle and provide more solutions to this growing crisis.

CPRE urged the government to go further, and faster, to fulfil its ambition to be a world leader in tackling the scourge of plastic pollution, and to not rely on producers to make the changes themselves.

Maddy Haughton-Boakes, litter campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England said:

"Plastic pollution is an issue that has now reached epidemic proportions. A tax on products that do not contain recycled plastic is welcome, but we need wholesale reform to the way we use this material if we are to be a world leader in eliminating plastic pollution and the harm it causes our countryside, oceans and wildlife.

"The only way to do this is to ensure change from producers through fees, taxes and targets, rather than rely on them to voluntarily change their ways.

"In addition to banning unnecessary products, government should use taxes to encourage the design of plastic packaging that is easily recyclable, and discourage the use of hard-to-recycle materials; use charges to encourage consumers to reduce their use of certain items, and harness the power of deposits to encourage people to return packaging for recycling."

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