Today I can confirm that the United Kingdom will demonstrate global leadership.
A statement from the British Plastics Federation countered: "The UK plastics industry shares the objective of minimising plastics waste through maximising recycling".
In the 25 year Environment Plan that was released earlier today (11 January), the government pledged to work with WRAP to introduce plastic free aisles in supermarkets.
"In years to come, I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly", she went on to say, adding that much of the plastic waste ended up in waterways and oceans. She outlined plans for a tax or charge on single use packaging and urged retailers to introduce plastic-free aisles. Typically, food waste in stores increases by a third without packaging. "Working with the EMF, we will bring together every "body, business and organisation" involved in the life cycle of plastics to make the move from a throwaway culture to one where resources are used over and over again". "Plastics should not be in the sea", adds the BPF, "and it is right that the United Kingdom, alongside other developed nations, should set an example of best practice". It is highly doubtful that simply providing alternative materials will actually reduce littering in the United Kingdom, as this is an issue of personal behaviour. "Plastics get into the seas by a number of routes and each route needs to be dealt with separately". Next month the government will call for evidence on how taxes or charges could discourage the use of products such as takeaway containers.
"We look forward to working with government to help the United Kingdom progress towards a truly circular economy by helping to reduce littering, significantly increasing recycling infrastructure, ensuring all packaging used for food and drink consumed "on the go" is captured for recycling, encouraging design for recyclability and the use of recycled materials in new low carbon products".
He added that Brexit would not result in a reduction in environmental protection: "I've already said that we want to set the global gold standard when it comes to the environment, and for animal welfare". Additionally, taxation on single-use items will be considered. "It says very little and promises to deliver even less, with no legal force included in the strategy".
Marcus Gover, CEO at WRAP explained that the scheme will "transform the United Kingdom plastics system" as opposed to the "piecemeal" solution offered so far.
Greenpeace said the announcements on plastics were "a missed opportunity", with a particular omission being no plans for a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles, which the group said was shown to work well.