United Kingdom leader vows Brexit won't weaken environmental standards

Theresa May extends the 5p plastic bag charge to all shops

Unveiling her Environmental Plan in a speech in west London today, Theresa May has set out plans to get rid of plastic waste within 25 years.

It will also extend the current levy on single-use plastic carrier bags to include small retailers.

In response to the publication of the Environment Plan, ACS chief executive James Lowman, said: "The commitment to consulting on a coherent strategy including cutting plastic waste is the right approach for delivering lasting benefits".

Mrs May will say today: "We look back in horror at some of the damage done to..."

"This plastic is ingested by dozens of species of marine mammals and over 100 species of sea birds, causing enormous suffering to individual creatures and degrading vital habitats", she will say in a speech on Thursday.

I understand that the document will cover many policy areas, including: managing land sustainably; enhancing nature and recovering wildlife; increasing people's health and well-being through nature; resource efficiency, reduction of pollution and waste and protecting and improving the global environment.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to stamp out all "avoidable plastic waste" within 25 years.

Dan Damon talked to Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet which wants to see plastic-free aisles in supermarkets as part of its campaign against plastic waste.

The 5p plastic bag levy is to be extended as part of Government plans to tackle "throwaway culture" in a 25-year Environment Plan being published later this week.

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The Bill, which the Government voted against past year, also seeks to introduce a deposit refund scheme on drinks containers and a deposit-return scheme for plastic bottles.

On plastics, Mrs May said: "Today I can confirm that the United Kingdom will demonstrate global leadership on plastics. and we must reduce demand and increase recycling rates".

This will give consumers the choice to make greener decisions and promote the use of less damaging plastic packaging, according to the Government.

"As it is produced, we will encourage manufacturers to take responsibility for the impacts of their products and rationalise the number of different types of plastics they use", she said.

In November 2016, then Minister for Housing Simon Coveney wrote to the European Commission to inform them of the Government's plans to introduce legislation banning microbeads in 2017.

There was, however, no explicit support for a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles which has been called for by the Environmental Audit Committee.

The British Government wishes to become a leader in dealing with the plastics crisis and use aid money to help developing countries reduce plastic waste, increase marine protected areas in the United Kingdom and establish a "blue belt" of protected marine environment territories overseas.

She said that they need to do "much more" to cut down on unnecessary plastic packaging and that government will work with them to explore the topic and make it easier to recycle plastics.

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