Tackling The Plastic Problem: Using The Tax System Or Charges To Address Single-Use Plastic Waste – The UK Government Announces A Consultation

UK: Tackling The Plastic Problem: Using The Tax System Or Charges To Address Single-Use Plastic Waste – The UK Government Announces A Consultation

Last Updated: 16 May 2018 – Article by Heather Gibson – Brodies LLP

The UK Government has announced bold ambitions to be “the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it”. The call for evidence will better enable the Government to assess how changes to the tax system or new charges could change the behaviour of business and consumers.

An appeal is being made to industry, public services, consumers, local authorities, environmental experts and all those interested in the issue to get involved.

“The better the evidence, the better the policy”.

This consultation is looking to capitalise on success stories such as landfill tax, single-use plastic carrier bag charges and the existing Packaging Waste Recovery Note system. A working group is already considering the benefits of a deposit return scheme to reduce littering and increase recycling of drinks containers.

The call for evidence has been split into lifecycle stages: production, retail, consumption and discarding / waste treatment.

The definition of “single use plastic” will need to be considered as this will determine who is affected by any future legislation and the extent of necessary action.

From a food and drink perspective, the Government is keen to hear of plastic alternatives to takeaway boxes, disposable boxes, coffee cups, plastic cutlery and plastic wrapping and polystyrene packaging as these are all expected to be impacted.

Identifying the problems caused by single use plastic is a key first step before identifying viable solutions while the Government acknowledges that there are situations where plastic cannot be easily replaced.

The Government is seeking input from businesses on how the tax system or charges can play a role in delivering better environmental outcomes, specifically examples of interventions that should be implemented and the effect these would have – both broadly, and in relation to the businesses themselves.

The deadline for responses is 18 May 2018.

The consultation document can be found by clicking here: UK Plastics

Responses can be submitted by email: ETTanswers@hmtreasury.gsi.gov.uk

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.