Theresa May Introducing 5p Tax on Water Bottles to Combat Plastic Waste
Theresa May has revealed that the UK government is considering introducing a 5p levy on single use plastic bottles.
The issues of plastic waste and ocean pollution have been well covered by the media over the past year, with many charities and environmental organisations putting pressure on officials to take action.
Speaking in January 2018, May accepted that policy changes are needed and suggested the introduction of a new levy, which she hopes will help change behaviours among British shoppers.
There has been a drastic decrease in the amount of single-use plastic bags being used in supermarkets, since the 5p levy was introduced in 2015. Research suggests that uptake has fallen by over 80%.
The Conservatives are preparing to lay out a number of environmental measures and schemes, in a speech due to be delivered by Theresa May this Thursday. It is believed that a levy on plastic water bottles and other receptacles is just one of the proposed initiatives, designed to help reduce waste and pollution.
May tweeted yesterday saying:
In 2015 we introduced the 5p charge on plastic carrier bags, we now see 9bn fewer bags being used. It’s making a real difference. We want to do the same with single use plastics. Nobody who watched #BluePlanet2 will doubt the need for us to do something – and we will. #Marr
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) January 7, 2018
Other solutions suggested by ministers have included a plastic bottle deposit scheme, where customers return bottles to stores and other collection points. Upon returning bottles, cans and more, customers would receive a refund from retailers on the cost they paid for the container initially.
While Co-Op and Iceland have backed the scheme, many smaller retailers have protested due to its time intensive nature.
There has been a better reaction to the suggestion of a ‘latte-levy’ where consumers would have to pay 25p extra if they want their hot drink in a single use cup. It is hoped that this tax would drive customers towards reusable cups, cutting down on the immense problem of coffee cups which cannot be properly recycled.
The UK must tackle the issue of waste asap, since China has stopped accepting much of what the country produces, leaving local councils with a crisis on their hands. The best solution is of course, to reduce the amount of rubbish produced.
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