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Plastic: Green groups welcome Theresa May's plan to cut use

Plastic: Green groups welcome Theresa May's plan to cut use

In a speech launching the Government's 25-year environmental plan, Theresa May will say that in future people will be "shocked" at how much plastic is being "needlessly" produced.

"The UK government rightly stopped the supermarkets from offering plastic carrier bags for free and they also have the power to stop retailers from offering fruit and vegetables pre-packed in plastic packaging, which is not necessary and causes pollution", the petition states.

More than one million birds and 100,000 turtles, whales and dolphins die from eating or getting tangled in plastic waste.

In a speech in London, Mrs May will pledge "action at every stage of the production and consumption of plastic", targeting manufacturers and the supermarkets which sell thousands of items wrapped in single-use plastic.

The BPF released a statement in response to Theresa May's announcement on plastics waste, welcoming the government's commitment to provide a higher level of funding for plastics innovation.

May's former director of communications, Katie Perrior, wrote in The Times that the prime minister's enthusiasm for the environment "may not be insincere but it is certainly new".

The Government is determined to tackle the throwaway culture which plastics encapsulate'.

The 5p bag charge introduced in 2015 will be extended to every retailer - previously it only applied to stores with more than 25 employees.

It is estimated that 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced since the 1950s, with research indicating that without urgent action to cut demand this is likely to be 34 billion tonnes by 2050.

Its chair, Ibrahim Dogus, said: "While we agree that more needs to be done to reduce the use of plastics, a tax isn't the right answer, as it will lead to increased costs for consumers and hurt the many small and independent businesses that make up the UK's takeaway sector".

The plan will be unveiled on Thursday and Whitehall sources confirmed that a consultation on extending the plastic bag charge will form part of it in the coming weeks.

In the United Kingdom alone, the Marine Conservation Society found 718 pieces of litter for every 100-metre stretch of beach surveyed in its Great British Beach Clean Up.

Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said the measures "don't match the scale of the environmental crisis we face".

The plan, drawn up by Michael Gove's environment department, seeks to utilise collaborative initiatives to assist the United Kingdom in overcoming the issue of waste.

May said the plan aimed over a generation to improve the environment "by creating richer habitats for wildlife, improving air and water quality and curbing the scourge of plastic in the world's oceans".

Speaking ahead of the plan on BBC Newsnight yesterday, Lucas said: "What we need to see... is a real commitment to an Environment Act, which is the thing that will actually make sure all of these aspirations are properly turned into policy".