The UK Government is planning to eliminate avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042 in a bid to protect the environment.

Prime minister Theresa May is expected to outline steps for a cleaner, greener Britain as part of the government’s 25-Year Environment Plan.

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In order to achieve the target, the government is set to extend the 5p carrier bag charge to all retailers across the country, which has so far helped to reduce plastic bag usage by nine billion.

“We must reduce the demand for plastic, reduce the number of plastics in circulation and improve our recycling rates.”

Under the proposed plan, supermarkets will be encouraged to introduce plastic-free aisles in which all the food is loose.

The initiative at supermarkets is aimed at making consumers embrace greener decisions and promoting the use of less damaging plastic packaging.

In a speech, Theresa May is expected to say: “In years to come, I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly.

“Today I can confirm that the UK will demonstrate global leadership. We must reduce the demand for plastic, reduce the number of plastics in circulation and improve our recycling rates. To tackle it, we will take action at every stage of the production and consumption of plastic.”

The government is planning to work with its partners to create a Commonwealth Blue Charter and garner support to reduce plastic waste in the ocean.

Funding from the government’s £7bn research and development pot is expected to be allocated to support plastics innovation.

Meanwhile, coffee company Starbucks has unveiled plans to trial and promote a 5p cup charge in up to 25 central London stores in order to encourage and support the use of reusable cups.