MPs hit out at Philip Hammond over lack of plastics action since Budget pledge

Posted On: 
22nd February 2018

MPs have criticised Philip Hammond for failing to call for evidence as part of the Government’s pledge to crackdown on single use plastics.

Philip Hammond laid out measures to tackle single use plastic use in his autumn Budget
PA Images

It comes after the Chancellor vowed to "investigate how the tax system and charges on single-use plastic items can reduce waste" in his November Budget.

He said: “The UK led the world on climate change agreements, and is a pioneer in protecting marine environments.

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“Now I want us to become a world leader in tackling the scourge of plastic littering our planet and our oceans.”

But Environmental Audit Committee chair Mary Creagh said public concern was mounting over the impact of plastics on the environment.

“Pollution from single use plastic packaging is choking our oceans and devastating marine wildlife,” she wrote in a letter to Mr Hammond and Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

“Three months ago, ministers promised to look at using the tax system reduce the use of throwaway plastics, but still have not published a call for evidence.

“The Government has talked the talk on plastics pollution, but it has been too slow to walk the walk.”

She added that “700,000 plastic bottles are littered every day”.

“These are just one example of single-use plastics that can end up in our seas and oceans, killing wildlife and breaking down into harmful microplastics,” she added.

The Treasury spokeswoman said in response ministers remain “fully committed” to reducing their use and impact they have on wildlife.

“Our call for evidence – launching shortly - will build on Britain’s world-leading ban on microbeads and plastic bag charge, forming a major part of the government’s 25 year Environment Plan,” they said.