Government sets its sights on plastic as part of 25 year plan

The 5p plastic bag charge is set to be extended to all shops

May and environment secretary Michael Gove are said to have briefed the cabinet on the plan on Tuesday.

Speaking on Premier, Paul Bodenham from the Green Christian group said he did agree with some of what May is proposing: "There needs to be signals in the market to ensure that the polluter pays, it's that principle being produced here".

According to reports, the plan, which was due to be published last Summer but was delayed due to the general election, will see supermarkets urged to create "plastic-free" aisles where shoppers can purchase plastic packaging-free items.

"We must reduce the demand for plastic, reduce the number of plastics in circulation and improve our recycling rates", she will say.

The 5p charge on plastic bags is set to be enforced in corner shops and other small retailers, as the government extends its plans to tackle "throwaway culture".

The government will also pledge to eliminate all "avoidable plastic waste" by 2042 - bringing forward by eight years a 2050 target laid out in its Clean Growth Strategy for all avoidable waste.

Launching s 25 Year Environment Plan, May set out the government's determination to leave the environment in a better state than it found it. It also aims to increase the collection and recycling of plastic packaging.

The PM will also task civil servants to look at how the tax system or charges could further reduce the amount of waste, while putting out a call for evidence on reducing the use of single-use plastics.

May extends 5p plastic bag charges to all small shops in bid to end Britain's 'throwaway culture'
The 5p plastic bag charge is set to be extended to all shops

But Prime Minister Theresa May and environment secretary Michael Gove are this week due to set out plans for the levy to cover nearly all plastic bags.

More than 220,000 people in the United Kingdom have signed a Change.org petition lobbying the government to force the country's retailers to cut out the use of plastic packaging on fruit and vegetables.

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

Greenpeace praised the Government for wanting to tackle plastic waste, but called the plans a "missed opportunity" which do not match the "scale of the environmental crisis".

Thursday's announcements are the culmination of an environmental week for the government.

I understand that the document will cover many policy areas, including: managing land sustainably; enhancing nature and recovering wildlife; increasing people's health and well-being through nature; resource efficiency, reduction of pollution and waste and protecting and improving the global environment.

"Focusing on only the low hanging fruits of environmental protection is like treating heart disease with a bypass, without changing your diet or taking up regular exercise", she said in a statement.

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