May wants plastic-free aisles put into supermarkets

May wants plastic-free aisles put into supermarkets

Britain's Prime Minister has announced a 25-year plan to improve the country's environment and eliminate plastic waste, promising that leaving the European Union won't mean lower environmental standards. Recycling and reusing plastics will be encouraged, and the government will launch a call for evidence in 2018 to see how the tax system might be used to reduce single-use plastic waste.

In addition to the expected extension of the 5p plastics bag levy and a possible charge on single-use plastics containers, the Prime Minister confirmed other initiatives will include include plastics packaging free supermarket aisles, where food is sold loose, along with new research funding for "plastics innovation" and aid to help developing nations deal with their plastics waste. Highlighting the issue of plastics pollution, May said that people in the future would be "shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly", reported the Guardian. "As it is consumed, we will drive down the amount of plastic in circulation through reducing demand". Additionally, taxation on single-use items will be considered.

The government also said it would support WRAP in "working with industry and local authorities to ensure that a consistent set of materials are collected by all local authorities". "We urge Government to work with our industry on the detail of its new Resources and Waste Strategy to develop a world leading approach for the United Kingdom".

This week Britain banned the use of plastic microbeads, common in body scrubs and shower gels that end up in oceans.

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"Respecting nature's intrinsic value and making sure we are wise stewards of our natural world is critical if we are to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it". Cutting out plastic packaging for fresh produce will actually harm the environment through increased Carbon dioxide emissions because the energy used to produce food is much greater than in the packaging protecting it.

"The Scottish Government has committed to a deposit return scheme covering plastic bottles, and now it is proposing a ban on the manufacture of plastic-stemmed cotton buds", said Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland in an email.

Numerous measures due to be included in the speech have either already been formally announced by ministers or were briefed to the media ahead of the speech.

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