Theresa May has today pledged to eradicate all avoidable plastic waste in the UK by 2042. The commitment is part of a 25-year plan to improve the natural environment.
In her speech to launch the plan, the prime minister stated: "I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly." May’s speech, unveiling a much-heralded 25-year plan for the environment in England drawn up by Michael Gove’s environment department with input from pressure groups, focused heavily on plastic waste, which she calls “one of the great environmental scourges of our time”.
Theresa May promised to extend the hugely successful 5p levy on plastic bags to smaller shops, and seek evidence on a possible charge on single-use plastic containers such as takeaway boxes.
Other promised initiatives include a plan to urge supermarkets to introduce aisles without any plastic packaging, where all food is sold loose, along with new research funding for “plastics innovation” and aid to help developing nations deal with their plastic waste.
May said: “In years to come, I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly. Much of this waste ends up in waterways and oceans, with one in three fish caught in the Channel containing pieces of plastic. Today I can confirm that the UK will demonstrate global leadership. We must reduce the demand for plastic, reduce the number of plastics in circulation and improve our recycling rates.”