Green Party councillor welcomes single-use plastic tax system plans

Tuesday March 13 2018

Green Party councillor Rachel Woods says plans announced by the Chancellor for a public consultation on a tax system for single-use plastics are a welcome first step in the fight against the scourge of plastic waste.

In his spring statement, Phillip Hammond announced a nine-week consultation which will look at the supply chain for single-use plastics and promised to set aside £20m for an innovation fund to help discover new solutions.

Councillor Woods, whose motion led to Ards and North Down council becoming the first Northern Ireland council to vote to ban single-use plastics in its facilities, said a well-designed scheme would help to transform the behaviour of individuals and organisations, big business and structures.

“This is a matter of huge urgency and of huge importance to the health of our oceans. The best research currently available estimates that there are now more than 150 million tonnes of plastic waste in our oceans,” she said.

“It is estimated that 50% of the plastic that we use is only used once before it is thrown away.

“Serious pressure needs to be mounted on both the producer and consumer to cut down on use of plastics and switch to alternatives at the same time, leading to a truly circular economy where everyone works together. I would like to see many more councils, government departments and companies leading the way on this with a comprehensive approach to phasing out single-use plastic products.”

Councillor Woods said the measures should be part of a comprehensive approach that is desperately required in order to change habits and clean up our environment at the same time.

“Schemes such as container deposit legislation and refill schemes are measures that could be implemented in order to address plastic use in the short term,” she said.

“I hope schemes such as this will put pressure on the manufacturers to increase awareness and design of alternatives in order for people to properly understand what can and cannot be recycled as well as encouraging the use of greener alternatives which do exist.”

ENDS

 

Media Contact: Linda Stewart

028 9052 1141
07594 391264
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