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In response to a recent call for evidence, the Treasury has outlined proposals to use the UK tax system to reduce plastic waste from single-use items, such as straws, cutlery, coffee cups and takeaway packaging.
The call for evidence had a high response rate, with 162,000 individuals, businesses and campaign groups expressing their opinions on the matter. The majority of respondents called for the government to introduce a tax, charge or ban to help reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste.
Chancellor Philip Hammond reiterated the government’s commitment to reducing the amount of plastic waste the UK produces, and intends to analyse the views collected in order to ‘help inform and shape the government’s approach’ to the issue ahead of this year’s Budget.
The Treasury is analysing ways to utilise the tax system to encourage recycling as opposed to incineration, and plans to introduce taxes on plastic items that are regularly littered. Taxes may also be introduced to encourage manufacturers to design and create plastic packaging that is easier to recycle.
Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: ‘Tackling the scandal of plastic pollution is one of our top priorities and we know the public is right behind us. I’ve been overwhelmed by the public support, and the responses we’ve received will be invaluable as we develop our plans for using the tax system to combat this.’
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