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Largest Response in History for Plastic Consultation

The government’s call for evidence on plastic waste has received an unprecedented number of responses.

With 162,000 comments, this is the largest response to a call for evidence in the HM Treasury’s history.

The ‘Tackling the plastic problem’ consultation was launched following the Spring Statement by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond.

Running from 13 March to 18 May 2018, the consultation was aimed at exploring how changes to the tax system or charges could be used to reduce the amount of single-use plastics we waste. It looked broadly across the whole supply chain, from production and retail to consumption and disposal, in order to gain the best possible understanding and determine the best course of action. It also sought to explore how best to drive innovation in this area.

The government received wide interest from within the industry as well as the wider public, with responses going towards informing and shaping an approach ahead of this year’s Budget.

Individuals, businesses and campaign groups have expressed ‘overwhelming support’ for action on tackling the impact of plastics on our environment, and HM Treasury has now published the summary of responses received to the consultation.

The Chancellor has reiterated the department’s commitment to take action through the tax system to reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste. Measures which HM Treasury said received public support and are being considered, include using the tax system to:

– encourage greater use of recycled plastic in manufacturing rather than new plastic;
– discourage the use of difficult to recycle plastics, like carbon black plastic;
– reduce demand for single-use plastics like coffee-cups and takeaway boxes;
– encourage further recycling as opposed to incineration.

The Exchequer Secretary, Robert Jenrick, while visiting a plastic pollution clean-up operation on Perranporth Beach in Cornwall, 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 than 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.”

We have pledged to help our packaging compliance members investigate and determine how they can become more sustainable. As part of our Beyond Compliance service, we are offering tailored workshops for existing and new members, providing the opportunity for businesses to understand the impact of their packaging, the customer perception of their brand, and re-design concepts to green their packaging. Contact our team on 0845 129 7177 to find out how we can help your business.

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