Beverage Containers: Taxation

Treasury written question – answered on 2nd May 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 4 March 2019 to Question 226084 on Beverage Containers: Taxation, upon which particular submissions made to the Government's call for evidence were his Department's conclusions based.

Photo of Robert Jenrick Robert Jenrick The Exchequer Secretary

The government received 162,000 responses to its call for evidence on single-use plastic, including 222 from companies, trade bodies, environmental charities, and other organisations. It also engaged directly with over 100 organisations. Last summer, we published a summary of these responses and the Budget decision draws on that, considering the range of alternatives that are available.

There is no practical way to apply the tax to just hot drink cups, meaning that a tax would have to be placed on all types of disposable plastic cup, including plastic and plastic-lined cups used for cold drinks. The government has concluded that there is not good evidence that a tax would lead to a significant increase in reuse for these at this time.

Businesses are already taking steps to reduce the impact of disposable cups. The government expects industry to go further and will return to the issue if sufficient progress is not made.

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