Following Chancellor Philip Hammond’s announcement that the Government is issuing a call for evidence on how the tax system could be changed to reduce single-use plastics, key industry figures have called for it to be used as an opportunity to bring about change.
CIWM has said that this consultation is a vital opportunity to explore how we can reduce unnecessary plastic waste, but any suggestions must be linked into a wider examination of resources and waste policies.
The organisation’s chief executive Colin Church said: “Plastics have many important functions and are part of modern life – but we have to stop using this versatile and highly durable material in single-use applications that squander a valuable resource, contribute to the pollution of our environment and our oceans, and increase the cost to society of managing our waste.”
According to SUEZ UK chief executive David Palmer-Jones, taxation and policy reforms should be used to drive innovation, especially with design and manufacturing.
He said: “We need a full-scale review of the taxation system for packaging that encompasses both plastics, paper, glass and card, including a review of the existing packaging recovery note system if we are to achieve a more resource-efficient society and encourage producers to take more responsibility.
“If we are to meet the Government target of eliminating all avoidable plastic waste by 2042, we need to stop the use of unnecessary single-use plastics and instead use sustainable, recyclable packaging and products.”
The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement and believes it is a strong step that shows that the Government is taking the issue of plastic waste seriously.
ESA chief executive Jacob Hayler said that it has called for the Government to toughen producer responsibility on packaging and products and believes that “higher taxes or charges for virgin plastics could be part of an overall system which drives the right behaviours across the supply chain by boosting demand for recycled alternatives”.