To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the Government's progress on reducing plastic pollution.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals to reduce levels of plastic pollution.
The Government published the Resources and Waste Strategy in December last year which sets out our plans to reduce plastic pollution. This builds on the commitment in the 25 Year Environment Plan to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste.
Domestically we have made good progress: from banning microbeads in rinse-off personal care products and removing 15.6 billion plastic bags from circulation with our 5p charge to strengthening the protection of our marine areas.
We have already consulted on banning plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds and are currently consulting on extending the carrier bag charge. We will shortly consult on reforming existing packaging waste regulation, introducing a deposit return scheme for drinks containers and increasing consistency in the recycling system. Legislative proposals will be developed taking account of the consultation responses.
The Government will continue to review the latest evidence on problematic products and materials to take a systematic approach to reducing the use of unnecessary single-use plastic products.
The 25 Year Environment Plan includes a commitment to remove all single-use consumer plastics from central Government offices and the Resources and Waste Strategy has confirmed that the Government will do this by 2020. A number of Departments, including Defra, have already taken steps to eliminate single-use consumer plastics from their operations.
The Government is also committed to the plastics tax announced by the Chancellor.