UK finance minister Philip Hammond has announced a “call for evidence” in the nation’s budget on taxing single-use plastics used in packaging and polystyrene take-out containers. The move forms part of the government's 25-year environment strategy and comes after the plastic carrier bag levy and a ban on microbeads, reports the Birmingham Mail.
This comes on the heels of a much talked about scene in the BBC’s Blue Planet II series, which described an albatross feeding plastic to its young chick instead of fish. According to various reports, as much as 12 million tons of waste end up in the world’s waterways annually. UK news outlets have also noted that enough single-use plastics are wasted every year in the UK to fill 1,000 Royal Albert Halls.
Responding to the call for evidence, Tisha Brown of Greenpeace UK said, “The treasury's announcement is only a statement of intent, but it recognizes the significance of the problem and the urgent need for a solution. There is a long way to go, but hopefully this is the beginning of the end for single-use plastic."
The call for evidence is expected to be launched early next year, according to the BBC. No word on how much it might cost consumers.