The UK Government is considering a new tax on single-use plastics such as takeaway cartons and packaging in a move to reduce the impact of these hazardous materials on the environment and marine life.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond is expected to announce a ‘call for evidence’ on how new taxes can help in mitigating the effect of plastic packaging wastage on the environment, in the budget to be presented this week.
According to an estimate, approximately 12Mt of plastic is dumped into the ocean every year, resulting in significant damage to the marine and aquatic life, reported The Guardian.
The Treasury also stated that more than a million birds and 100,000 sea mammals and turtles die every year by swallowing or getting trapped within the plastic waste.
However, the introduction of a 5p charge on single-use plastic bags two years ago reduced their usage by nearly 85% in six months.
The call for evidence is set to commence next year, which will also consider another government consultation with the environmental department to procure evidence on deposit return schemes for drinks containers.
Responding to the initiative, Greenpeace UK oceans campaigner Tisha Brown was quoted by the online publication as saying: “Ocean plastic pollution is a global emergency, it is everywhere from the Arctic Ocean at top of the world to the Marianas trench at the bottom of the Pacific. It’s in whales, turtles and 90% of sea birds, and it’s been found in our salt, our tap water and even our beer.”