Plastic Bags

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 22nd January 2015.

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Photo of Julian Huppert Julian Huppert Liberal Democrat, Cambridge

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the merits of introducing an exemption for compostable plastic bags from the single use carrier bag charge; and if she will meet representatives from the compostable plastic bags industry to discuss such an exemption.

Photo of Dan Rogerson Dan Rogerson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The draft legislation on the carrier bag charge includes a requirement to review existing standards for the biodegradability of lightweight plastic material. The review will report to Parliament by 5 October this year on whether there is an appropriate industry standard for an exemption from the charge, and if so, how it would be implemented. Industry and academic experts are working with the Department on this review. The Government is looking for a standard that will tackle biodegradability in different littered environments as well as in managed waste streams. The composting industry is represented on the Stakeholder Advisory Group and we will be taking account of their views along with those of other stakeholders.

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Neale Upstone
Posted on 23 Jan 2015 1:20 pm (Report this annotation)

Nice to see a start on what is the tip of the packaging litter iceberg. I hope the review has something to say about other packaging litter, but also doesn't create perverse incentives that have us end up with environmentally damaging alternatives being used because of a change in costs.
It would be better to have no exemptions and instead ban environmentally harmful packaging.