Environment minister Rebecca Pow reaffirms government commitment to ‘lead the global fight on unnecessary single-use plastics’.
On Saturday (11 July) The Telegraph ran an op-ed from Ministers Pow and Goldsmith to reaffirm the Government’s continued commitment to crack down on single use plastics at home and abroad.
In the op-ed both Defra Minister’s made clear that as the UK emerges from the pandemic, it must ‘pick up’ from where it left off – ‘driving forward with our ambitious plans to lead the global fight on unnecessary single-use plastics and each playing our part to make real change’.
Through new extended producer responsibility schemes, we will also make sure industries pay higher fees if their products or packaging are harder to reuse or recycle
Defra said in a blog post: ‘Our landmark Environment Bill will soon return to Parliament, and through this world-leading legislation we will transform our environment and ensure protections above and beyond those in the EU, as well as paving the way for new innovative schemes that slash our plastic waste.’
From October, Defra will implement its ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds, and from 2022 it will introduce a tax on plastic packaging to ‘penalise’ companies if they produce or import packaging which does not contain at least 30% recycled content.
‘We will also transform the waste system to move us closer to a circular economy where products are built to last, be recycled or repaired,” Defra said.
‘Through new extended producer responsibility schemes, we will also make sure industries pay higher fees if their products or packaging are harder to reuse or recycle.’
The reaffirmation comes after criticism from environmental groups following the Government’s delay of its single-use plastic ban cue to the coronavirus.