Government will be able to introduce charges on all single use items, not just plastics

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The Government has put forward an amendment to the Environment Bill that would allow it to introduce a charge on all single use products, and not just those made from plastic.

Following a proposed amendment by the House of Lords on this, the Government rejected it, but put forward its own amendment.

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In the new draft of the Environment Bill, it now “confers powers on the relevant national authority to make regulations about charges for single use items” when previously it said “single use plastic items”.

It also now says “(1A)Regulations made by the Secretary of State may specify only items which— (a) are single use items, and (b) are supplied in connection with goods or services.” when previously it included the clause “are made wholly or partly of plastic” when it comes to charging producers of single-use items.

Also, in the above clause, it previously allowed national authorities to introduce charges in single use products, but now this appears only to allow the Secretary of State to make this decision.

As these clauses have been proposed by the Government, it is likely they will be part of the final Act when it receives Royal Assent.

Essentially, charges could be introduced on other single-use products made not just of plastics, but metals, paper, glass, wood and other materials.

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