Government Plastic Consultation: Talking Points and Advice.
Plastic is everywhere, but thankfully we have a chance to make huge progress in the fight against plastic pollution. The government has opened a consultation looking at how new laws and regulations could be used to reduce plastic waste.
We’ve made a tool that makes it quick and easy to submit responses – we’ve written responses for you to send in your name, but if you’d like to make edits, here are some talking points to get you started:
The responses are to questions 13-16 of the government’s consultation on single-use plastics.
Responses with insulting language will be discounted, so please be constructive!
13. What factors influence consumers’ choices related to single-use plastic items?
– How can the government encourage the re-use of these items?
- It is difficult to avoid plastic packaging on the high street.
- Much plastic isn’t recyclable, the government should reduce all single-use plastics produced, and ensure they are recyclable and/or reusable
- Government should ban unrecyclable and problem plastic like polystyrene and black plastic.
- The government should encourage reuse in the case of coffee cups and similar items, by introducing a charge set at a level that means disposable cups are phased out in favour of reusable ones.
14. What are the barriers to consumers choosing alternatives to single-use plastic items, and how responsive would consumers be to price changes?
- Alternatives are not commonly available, such as for fruit and vegetable produce wrapped in plastic packaging in supermarkets. That means it’s often less convenient and more expensive to avoid single use plastic in a regular shopping trip.
- Charges on single-use plastic can work really well, but the Government should do more to target companies to dramatically reduce the amount of throwaway plastic that is produced – and put pressure on supermarkets to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging from products they sell.
15. In what way, and to what extent, do the decisions of producers and retailers influence consumer choice?
- Supermarkets and businesses need to step up to the mark and reduce the amount of single use plastic packaging they sell products in. Regulations and taxes can play a vital role, by sending a clear signal to businesses to shift to sustainable alternatives.
- It’s up to everyone to fix this problem, but essential we tackle it at source.
- Government must hand companies full responsibility for single use plastic packaging, and once they do, they will innovate to find sustainable solutions.
16. In your opinion, how can the tax system or charges play a role in delivering better environmental outcomes at this stage?
– What interventions should be implemented, and why?
– What behavioural effect would these interventions have, both on this stage in the supply chain, and more broadly?
– What would be the impact on consumers?
– Are there specific items the government should be focussing on?
- New regulations, including taxes and bans, are vital to tackle the scale of plastic pollution.
- Government action should target the companies that make and sell plastic packaging to dramatically reduce the volume of plastic that’s made in the first place, and spur a shift to sustainable alternatives that are better for everyone.
- Government should immediately ban non-recyclable plastic packaging, like Styrofoam, hazardous plastics like PVC and non-essential items like stirrers and sachets, and straws for those that don’t need them.
- Government should also listen to MPs and implement a charge on disposable coffee cups set at a level that speeds up the shift towards reusable cups.
This consultation has the potential to create new landmark laws in the fight against plastic pollution, every voice matters, so make sure yours is heard!
Submit your response here: https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/plastic-consult-blog