Consultations launched on plastic and waste

Proposals welcomed - but bigger strides needed to deal with consequences of throwaway society, says Friends of the Earth
  Published:  18 Feb 2019    |      1 minute read

The government is launching a number of consultations today (Monday 18 February 2019) aimed at overhauling the waste system, cutting plastic pollution, and moving towards a more circular economy.

The measures include:

• a tax on the production and import of plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content. • a deposit return scheme for cans and bottles

Julian Kirby, Friends of the Earth plastic campaigner said:

“A radical overhaul of waste strategy is urgently needed to deal with our waste crisis - but this must include bold targets to substantially cut the waste that squanders precious resources, blights our environment and harms our wildlife.

“A plastic tax should give firms a real incentive to use more recycled plastic in their products, leading to less waste and less pollution. But to be truly effective the tax must be regularly revised to periodically increase the proportion of recycled material that manufacturers use.

“A deposit return scheme is long-overdue – it’s been successful in other countries, it’s popular with the public and it will cut the amount of bottles and cans chucked out each year. The scheme must cover all containers, not just small ones.”

“These proposals are welcome steps forward – but bigger strides are needed if we are truly going to deal with the consequences of our throwaway society.”

Friends of the Earth also:

• welcomed plans for more consistent recycling, but is concerned that current policies have led to an increase in incineration.

• welcomed the commitment to food waste collections across the whole of England, which is long overdue.

• called for a substantial cut in the amount of plastic we use, including legislation to end further plastic pollution through the phase-out of non-essential plastics.