Budget 2017: Chancellor considers tax on single-use plastic items

  The UK Government is considering introducing a tax on single-use plastic items, including polystyrene takeaway boxes and bubble wrap. Chancellor Philip Hammond said he will work with Environment Secretary […]

By Priyanka Shrestha
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The UK Government is considering introducing a tax on single-use plastic items, including polystyrene takeaway boxes and bubble wrap.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said he will work with Environment Secretary Michael Gove to investigate how the tax system and charges on single-use plastic items can reduce waste.

A call for evidence is to be launched in early 2018.

The new measure builds on the success of the existing plastic carrier bag charge.

According to official figures, the amount of single-use plastic wasted in the UK every year would fill London’s Royal Albert Hall 1,000 times.

During his 2017 Budget announcement, Mr Hammond added: “Air quality is, sadly, not our only environmental challenge…The UK led the world on climate change agreements and is a pioneer in protecting marine environments.

“Now I want us to become a world leader in tackling the scourge of plastic, littering our planet and our oceans.”

Earlier this year, the government said it would consider whether to introduce a “reward and return” scheme for plastic bottles to try and improve recycling rates.

The Chancellor also pledged £540 million for EVs and charging infrastructure, announced a tax hike for diesel cars which will finance a new £220 million Clean Air Fund and tax breaks for the North Sea oil and gas sector.

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