Plastics: Packaging

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered am ar 23 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Steve Reed Steve Reed Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce the amount of plastic packaging produced in the UK.

Photo of Robbie Moore Robbie Moore The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Reducing the use of single use plastic packaging produced in the UK is a key ambition of this Government. In December 2018, the UK Government published its Resources and Waste Strategy. This sets out how we will achieve a circular economy for plastic and achieve our ambition to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by 2042. Our goal is to maximise resource efficiency and minimise waste (including plastic) - by following the principles of the waste hierarchy: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. To help us achieve this goal, in October 2023, Defra banned the supply of single-use plastic plates, bowls, and trays to the end-user and banned the supply of single-use plastic cutlery and expanded and foamed extruded polystyrene food and drinks containers, including cups.

The UK Government and the Devolved Administrations have also committed to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging. This will make producers of packaging, responsible for the costs of collecting and managing packaging when it becomes waste. This will encourage businesses to think carefully about how much packaging they use, to design and use packaging that is easily recyclable, and to use reusable packaging. In using more easily recyclable and reuseable packaging, producers will pay less.

To tackle the use of virgin plastics, the Government brought in the Plastic Packaging Tax in April 2022, a tax of over £200 per tonne on plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into the UK, that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic. We have since increased the tax to £217.85 per tonne and will continue to monitor the situation and adjust accordingly.

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