Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Michael Gove takes on the 'throwaway culture' of plastic bottle waste

Michael Gove takes on the 'throwaway culture' of plastic bottle waste

Environmental groups on Thursday welcomed Prime Minister Theresa May's 25-year plan to create a "cleaner, greener Britain" by eliminating plastic waste, but said it did not go far enough.

The plans have been criticised by United Kingdom opposition parties and green groups who are angry the proposals will have no legal force.

Deborah Tomkins also suggested that the 25 year plan seemed unambitious, explaining: "It could be done a lot quicker, as was done in Rwanda".

The proposal would "send a strong message to the public about the Government's commitment to be the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than it inherited".

Society's addiction to throwaway plastic is a growing menace to the environment.

The Government will consult on a new tax system or charges for containers such as takeaway boxes, while a innovation fund for plastic waste solutions will be allocated money from the UK's £7bn R&D pot.

The British prime minister, Theresa May, has pledged to eradicate all avoidable plastic waste in the United Kingdom by 2042.

The Prime Minister visited a bird sanctuary as she outlined her 25-year plan for the environment.

The pro-EU group Open Britain warned that Brexit could threaten environmental ambitions because of the potential weakening of stringent European Union regulation.

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Greenpeace UK's executive director John Sauven said: "If Theresa May wants to persuade people this is more than just husky-hugging, she needs to put some joined-up thinking at the heart of her strategy". "So the Government is simply playing catch up with this announcement".

Mrs May is expected to unveil plans to extend the 5p plastic bag charge to all small shops.

The plan has been identified by a Tory think-tank as an opportunity to improve the party's reputation among young voters, who failed to support the party in big numbers at the 2017 snap General Election.

She said: "Today I can confirm that the United Kingdom will demonstrate global leadership".

There are huge pressures on the natural world from urgently needed house-building; HS2 threatens scores of ancient woodlands; and the Department for Transport has a major road-building programme.

"This plastic is ingested by dozens of species of marine mammals and over 100 species of sea birds, causing huge suffering to individual creatures and degrading vital habitats", she will say in a speech on Thursday.

"If the government's aim is to get through to young voters, they need to offer change that happens before these youths turn middle-aged".

In a question and answer session after her speech, Mrs May didn't rule out a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles, saying "what matters is what works" and she recalling a time when she used to return Corona bottles for a "sixpence".

Sue Hayman, shadow environment secretary, called it "a cynical attempt at rebranding".

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