This week the Government published a consultation on Waste Strategy, which has been criticised for its lack of ambition.
The strategy aims to:
– Introduce a tax on single use plastic with less than 30% recycled content.
– Consider banning plastic packaging where there are alternatives.
– Legislate to allow government to specify a core set of materials to be collected by all local authorities and waste operators.
– Commit to a deposit return scheme for bottles and cans.
– Ensure all households get food waste collections.
– Try to build a stronger UK recycling market.
But critics are angry at the time it is taking the government to implement measures such as the deposit return scheme for plastic bottles and cans. The rollout of such a system may not happen for another five years. With the Scottish government expected to introduce its deposit system by 2020, and the packaging producers – who would pay for the system – wanting it to be UK-wide, why does our government think it would take a further three years to get in line?
Liberal Democrats say:
We desperately need to tackle the mountain of plastic waste that is devastating our oceans. Liberal Democrats have therefore long championed deposit return schemes as a proven measure across the world for reducing waste.
The UK Government’s support for this scheme is welcome, but 2025 is a long way away when solutions to the damage being inflicted on our environment are so urgent.
That is why we have set the bar with an ambition to ban all single-use plastic within three years and the introduction of a levy on all producers and retailers that produce or use single-use plastics, including for single-use cups.