Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 29th October 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prevent the increased use of virgin plastics in products as a result of the rise in the cost of recycled plastic flakes.

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

At Budget 2018, the Government announced its intention to introduce a world-leading new tax on businesses that produce or import plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled content, taking effect from April 2022. The tax will be set at a rate that provides a clear economic incentive for businesses to use recycled material in the production of plastic packaging. This will help to drive the treatment of plastic waste up the waste hierarchy so that more plastic is recycled rather than being sent to landfill or incineration.

The tax will create demand for recycled plastic and will be supported by our reforms of the current packaging producer responsibility system, which will help to create a supply of recycled plastic material. We will introduce an extended producer responsibility system for packaging, which incentivises businesses to design packaging that is easy to recycle. These measures will help deliver our Resources and Waste Strategy, published last December, which sets out how we will recycle more plastic than we do now by moving to a more circular economy.

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