Plastics: Waste

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 15th April 2019.

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Photo of Paul Farrelly Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress his Department has made on banning single-use plastics by 2021.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government published the Resources and Waste Strategy for England in December last year which sets out our plans to reduce plastic pollution and to move towards a more circular economy.

We have already made good progress, banning microbeads in rinse-off personal care products and removing 15.6 billion plastic bags from circulation with our 5p charge. We have already consulted on banning plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds in addition to extending the carrier bag charge. Consultation has also begun 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.

We 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 including problematic packaging materials, in line with our commitment to match, and where economically practicable exceed, the ambition of the EU in this regard.

Our ambition is to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste throughout the lifetime of the 25 Year Environment Plan. For the most problematic plastics we are going faster – that is why we commit to work towards all plastic packaging placed on the UK market being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

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