May vows to scrap all plastic waste by 2042

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Supermarkets should introduce plastic-free aisles where all food is loose as part of a government pledge to cut waste, Theresa May will say today.

In a speech on the environment, May will announce plans to close the exemption that means retailers with fewer than 250 employees do not have to charge customers 5 pence for a single-use plastic bag.

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.

Mrs May will say today: "We look back in horror at some of the damage done to..."

The Prime Minister said in her speech at London's Wetland Centre: "Today I can confirm that the United Kingdom will demonstrate global leadership".

"Plastics should not be in the sea and it is right that the United Kingdom, alongside other developed nations, should set an example of best practice". It is highly doubtful that simply providing alternative materials will actually reduce littering in the United Kingdom, as this is an issue of personal behaviour.

"Food waste was not referred to by the Prime Minister along with role that packaging has played in extending shelf life", said Kersh. Cutting out plastic packaging for fresh produce will actually harm the environment through increased Carbon dioxide emissions because the energy used to produce food is much greater than in the packaging protecting it.

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Downing Street said it would examine how the tax system or charges could encourage industry to take more responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products, with a consultation on reducing the volume of single-use plastics starting next month.

"What we would like to see is PRN reform on the terms of reference", said Kersh.

Marcus Glover, chief executive at WRAP, said: "So far the solutions to plastics waste have been piecemeal".

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".

He added: "Having invested heavily in new facilities to support the move away from landfill over the last decade, we are pleased that this plan recognises the important role energy recovery facilities have played in this transition and the ambition to make these facilities more efficient by identifying ways to increase the use of the heat they produce".

The premier underlined that single-use plastic waste was "ingested by dozens of species of marine animals and over 100 species of sea birds, causing huge suffering to individual creatures and degrading vital habitats".

"We just can't wait another 25 years before eliminating throwaway plastic".

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