Spring Statement: Chancellor consults on tax charges to tackle plastic waste

Philip Hammond said money raised from any tax changes would be invested in developing new, greener products and processes

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By Priyanka Shrestha
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Chancellor Philip Hammond has launched a consultation to explore how changes to the tax system or charges could be used to reduce single-use plastic waste.

The Treasury will look broadly across the whole supply chain, from production and retail to consumption and disposal, as well as using alternative materials and reusing and recycling opportunities.

Delivering the first Spring Statement today, Mr Hammond said money raised from any tax changes would be invested in developing new, greener products and processes.

The Treasury intends to explore how the economic incentives can drive innovation, for example, by stimulating businesses to develop and integrate new technology or encouraging growth in the recycling sector by addressing barriers to investment.

In addition, it is awarding £20 million from existing budgets to businesses and universities “to stimulate new thinking and rapid solutions” to reduce the impact of plastic waste on the environment.

The government will also publish a call for evidence on whether the use of non-agricultural red diesel tax relief contributes to poor air quality in urban areas and a consultation on reduced vehicle excise duty (VED) rates for the cleanest vans.

It comes after the Treasury recently announced tax relief for taxi drivers who switch to greener vehicles.

Mr Hammond added: “This government is determined that our generation should leave the natural environment in a better state than we found it and improve the quality of the air that we breathe.”

The consultation on tackling plastic pollution will run until 18th May 2018.