‘Record-breaking’ public support to use tax system to tackle plastic waste

The government’s recent call for evidence attracted an ‘unprecedented’ 162,000 responses

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There is “record-breaking” public support to reduce single-use plastics and use the tax system to boost recycling in the UK.

The government said its recent call for evidence on tackling the plastic problem and using the tax system attracted an “unprecedented” 162,000 responses, the highest in the Treasury’s history.

It will consider the responses to implement policies including using tax to shift demand towards using recycled plastic in manufacturing, encourage more sustainable design of plastic items, reduce demand for commonly littered single-use plastic items like coffee cups and takeaway boxes and ensure incentives are in place to encourage recycling waste that is currently incinerated.

The government is also exploring a ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds and the introduction of a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles.

Exchequer Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Tackling the scandal of plastic pollution is one of our top priorities and we know the public is right behind us. I’ve been overwhelmed by the public support and the responses we’ve received will be invaluable as we develop our plans for using the tax system to combat this.

“Our duty to leave the environment in a better state that we found it is absolutely clear and what we’ve set out today is another important step to ensuring a cleaner, greener future for Britain.”

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