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Record-breaking consultation reveals that British people DO want the 'plastic tax'

Written by Samantha Lade, Donr

Published on Monday, 20th August 2018

Record-breaking consultation reveals that British people DO want the 'plastic tax'

Environmentalists are celebrating the mass participation to what was dubbed the 'plastic-tax consultation' in the largest response to a call for evidence in the Treasury's history.

Over 220 organisations and 400,000* citizens have responded to the Treasury's call for evidence on the introduction of tax or charges on single use (throwaway) plastic items.

On Saturday, the Treasury released its analyses of the responses and evidence received.

According to Luca Bonaccorsi, Director of Engagement & Communications at the Marine Conservation Society, who played a primary role in the campaign: 'This astounding response shows that the public cares deeply about the issue.

'Nearly half a million people have sent a message to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that can't be ignored: single-use plastic must be reduced using taxes or charges.

'While we are pleased that the Treasury promises to address all of our demands, such as using taxes to encourage recycling, we now run the risk of having to go through yet another consultation after the 2018 budget.

'We cannot afford to wait this long, implementation must happen quickly so we can see the start of what would be a huge societal change.'

According to Dr Laura Foster, Head of Clean Seas at the Marine Conservation Society: 'We are supportive of the Treasury’s conclusions, but we need to see the shift to implementation.

'The four key points of tax used to shift demand towards recycled plastic, encourage recycling through better design, taxes and charges for on-the-go items, and greater recycling of waste are all positive statements.

'The government however, states that it will ‘examine’ taxes or charges on specific items, but the Environmental Audit Committee has already made recommendations on, for instance, coffee cups. 

'With an estimated lorry load of plastic entering the ocean every minute - time is of the essence.'

*162,000 people have participated to the public consultation via environmental NGOs such as the Marine Conservation Society and Greenpeace. 241,000 have signed a petition that responded to the consultation on the 38degrees platform.