Liberal Democrats to expand plastic bag charge
- Ecosystems ,
- Biodiversity ,
- Natural resources ,
Exemptions for charges on single-use plastic bags will be removed if the Liberal Democrats win the election, the party said today.
A charge of 5p per plastic bag is due to be introduced in England in October this year. The measure is predicted to raise £730 million a year for good causes and save £60 million in litter clean-up costs.
However, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), such as independent retailers, are currently exempt from the scheme, as are paper and biodegradable bags.
SMEs give customers an estimated 3.5 billion single-use plastic bags and 35 million paper bags a year, while supermarkets and high street stores collectively give out around 293 million paper bags a year, according to government figures.
Deputy prime-minister Nick Clegg announced the move as part of a series of measures to reverse the decline of species and their habitats. “The facts are simple; single use bags blight our towns and countryside, they trap and suffocate wildlife, and plastic bags take hundreds of years to degrade,” he said.
Other measures include rolling out two further tranches of marine conservation zones in English seas by 2015–16; developing a 25-year plan for Britain’s nature; providing stronger protection for bees; creating a one million km2 marine reserve in the south Atlantic, dedicated to British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a new 'Green Claims Code' to ensure businesses are not misleading consumers about their environmental credentials.
Over two million hectares of Brazilian rainforest could be legally converted to supply the UK with soy under a new anti-deforestation law proposed by the government, the WWF has found.
In Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for judicial review of the legality of the defendants’ joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as a substitute for UK participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
In R. (on the application of Hudson) v Windsor and Maidenhead RBC, the appellant appealed against a decision to uphold the local authority’s grant of planning permission for the construction of a holiday village at the Legoland Windsor Resort.