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UK plans to eliminate avoidable plastic litter by 2042

World2018-01-11

A plan by the British government to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste within 25 years has been deemed insufficient by opposition leaders and environmental campaigners. Prime Minister Theresa May was expected to outline the proposals in a speech on Thursday. The government wants supermarkets to introduce plastic-free aisles and intends to inject new funding into plastics innovation, according to May's office, which released a preview of her remarks. Changes to the tax system and charges on single-use plastic items such as takeaway containers will also be considered. However, opposition leaders and environmental campaigners were quick to condemn the proposals as dangerously insufficient. Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, the fourth-biggest party in parliament, said Britain should be "eliminating all avoidable plastic waste now – a target of 2042 beggars belief." Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said the measures "don't match the scale of the environmental crisis we face." One million birds, and over 100,000 other sea mammals and turtles die every year from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste, Theresa May says. In her speech, May is expected to say that future generations will be shocked to learn that so much plastic is produced needlessly today. "One million birds, and over 100,000 other sea mammals and turtles die every year from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste. One in three fish caught in the English Channel contains pieces of plastic," she will say. "This truly is one of the great environmental scourges of our time." Among its proposals, the government intends to encourage supermarkets to introduce plastic-free aisles in which all the food is loose, giving consumers the choice of doing without the plastic wrapping. Meanwhile, a five pence (seven US cents) charge on plastic carrier bags will be extended to all retailers in England. It already applies elsewhere in Britain and to larger stores in England. A five pence charge on plastic carrier bags will be extended to all retailers in England. Downing Street said it would examine how the tax system or charges could encourage industry to take more responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products, with a consultation on reducing the volume of single-use plastics starting next month. But Edge said the the overall plastics plan lacks urgency and bite. "The most glaring gap is support for deposit return schemes" on plastic bottles," she said. "We just can't wait another 25 years before eliminating throwaway plastic." Britain will also direct some of its international development aid towards tackling pollution and reducing plastic waste abroad. It will also seek to strike an accord with the Commonwealth on reducing plastic waste in the oceans when it hosts the group's biennial summit in April. (AP)

A plan by the British government to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste within 25 years has been deemed insufficient by opposition leaders and environmental campaigners.

Prime Minister Theresa May was expected to outline the proposals in a speech on Thursday.

The government wants supermarkets to introduce plastic-free aisles and intends to inject new funding into plastics innovation, according to May's office, which released a preview of her remarks.

Changes to the tax system and charges on single-use plastic items such as takeaway containers will also be considered.

However, opposition leaders and environmental campaigners were quick to condemn the proposals as dangerously insufficient.

Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, the fourth-biggest party in parliament, said Britain should be "eliminating all avoidable plastic waste now – a target of 2042 beggars belief."

Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said the measures "don't match the scale of the environmental crisis we face."

 One million birds, and over 100,000 other sea mammals and turtles die every year from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste, Theresa May says.

One million birds, and over 100,000 other sea mammals and turtles die every year from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste, Theresa May says.

In her speech, May is expected to say that future generations will be shocked to learn that so much plastic is produced needlessly today.

"One million birds, and over 100,000 other sea mammals and turtles die every year from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste. One in three fish caught in the English Channel contains pieces of plastic," she will say.

"This truly is one of the great environmental scourges of our time."

Among its proposals, the government intends to encourage supermarkets to introduce plastic-free aisles in which all the food is loose, giving consumers the choice of doing without the plastic wrapping.

Meanwhile, a five pence (seven US cents) charge on plastic carrier bags will be extended to all retailers in England.

It already applies elsewhere in Britain and to larger stores in England.

  A five pence charge on plastic carrier bags will be extended to all retailers in England.

A five pence charge on plastic carrier bags will be extended to all retailers in England.

Downing Street said it would examine how the tax system or charges could encourage industry to take more responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products, with a consultation on reducing the volume of single-use plastics starting next month.

But Edge said the the overall plastics plan lacks urgency and bite.

"The most glaring gap is support for deposit return schemes" on plastic bottles," she said. "We just can't wait another 25 years before eliminating throwaway plastic."

Britain will also direct some of its international development aid towards tackling pollution and reducing plastic waste abroad.

It will also seek to strike an accord with the Commonwealth on reducing plastic waste in the oceans when it hosts the group's biennial summit in April.

(AP)

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