Theresa May plans to extend plastic bag charge and end 'throwaway culture'

Michael Gove
with his
reusable cup PIC PA

Theresa May vows to end throwaway culture after call for coffee cup tax by Daniel Binns Published

Hundreds of small retailers in Gedling borough could be forced to charge 5p for plastic bags under new government plans to tackle the nation's "throwaway culture".

Brits could get 5p for every plastic bottle they return to shops under the plans.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove told a meeting of the cabinet that he wanted to tackle our "throwaway culture".

Environment Secretary Michael Gove told colleagues that the introduction of a 5p charge on single-use plastic bags had contributed to a reduction of almost 90 per cent in their use, in a clear demonstration of what can be achieved by targeted official action.

Mr Gove's department has also said it is looking at proposals from the Environmental Audit Committee for a new 25p "latte levy" on disposable coffee cups to help reduce waste. Shops with fewer than 250 employees are now exempt from the charge that was introduced to large stores in England in 2015.

The PM is expected to announce that the 5p plastic bag levy will be rolled out to apply to all shops (currently only businesses employing more than 250 people have to comply).

The Prime Minister's spokesman told reporters she had set out how the government was committed to clear "conserving what is good, and standing against the profligate use of resources - whether it be public money or natural resources".

Announcing a consultation on removing the remaining exemptions, Mrs May will say that the tax shows the effectiveness of well-judged state intervention.

Government sources have confirmed that it will consult on the extension 5p charge on single-use carrier bags, which has seen nearly a 90% fall in usage since its launch in 2015.

One option on the table would be for the charge to be extended on a voluntary basis, the source said.

Together, the two measures are meant to ensure that a greater proportion of the packaging used in the United Kingdom can be recycled.

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