This petition was submitted during the 2017–2019 Conservative government

Petition Reduce and end unnecessary single-use plastics

We, the undersigned, call for action on the current environmental crisis concerning single-use plastics and demand the Government committ to a significant reduction and eventual end to them. There's been recent success in limiting microbeads and plastic bags, but far more needs to be done.

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Those who sign this petition are calling for a reduction in single-use plastics and for the Government to set a target date for the eventual ban of all single-use plastics.

There are many ways to reduce single-use plastics; deposit return schemes and plans similar to that of the 5p plastic bag charge.

It has been calculated that the weight of plastics in the ocean is likely to exceed that of fish by 2050.

We cannot allow future generations to be burdened with a damaged environment.

This petition is closed This petition ran for 6 months

11,595 signatures

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Government responded

This response was given on 1 February 2018

The Government wants to leave our environment in a better state than we found it, we are already a world leader in tackling plastic waste.

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The 25 Year Environment Plan that was published on 11 January outlines the steps that will be undertaken to achieve that ambition, including new measures to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042.

This Government is already a world leader in tackling plastic waste, not only banning microbeads but also taking nine billion plastic bags out of circulation with our 5p carrier bag charge.

We recognise, however, that more needs to be done to protect our environment.
We want to increase recycling, promote resource efficiency and reduce litter. We established an independent working group to look at different measures to reduce littering and improve recycling of drinks containers. This group held a call for evidence on this topic at the end of last year; it included seeking evidence on the costs, benefits and impacts of deposit and reward and return schemes. The call for evidence is a first step in considering options. The working group will report back to Ministers with its advice shortly.

We will extend the 5p plastic carrier bag charge to all retailers.

We will work with retailers to explore introducing plastic-free supermarket aisles in which all the food is loose – giving consumers the choice to make greener decisions and promoting the use of less damaging packaging.

We will remove all consumer single-use plastics from the offices of the central Government estate.

The Government will also look at how the tax system or charges could further reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste we create through a call for evidence to be published in February.

We will also do more to help developing nations tackle pollution and reduce plastic waste, including through the deployment of UK aid.

In relation to the claim that the weight of plastics in the ocean is likely to exceed that of fish by 2050, the Government is not aware of the evidential basis to support this assertion. The UK’s Marine Strategy Part Three, published in December 2015, sets out a comprehensive set of measures that we are taking to reduce the incidence of marine litter in particular.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs