Government Falls Short on Plastic Commitment in Spring Statement

13 March 2018, Ross Matthewman

Responding to the announcement on plastics in today’s Spring Statement, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has urged the Government to match their warm words with real and tangible action.

In today’s statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, asked the public to suggest tax changes to curb plastic pollution in a general call for evidence, which stopped short of an official Treasury-led consultation.

The public, businesses, and third sector organisations, have been invited to share their views on how tax incentives can cut the environmentally damaging amount of single-use plastics in our society; such as cutlery, foam trays and coffee cups.

The announcement comes in the wake of last year’s Budget, where the Chancellor pledged the Government to tackling the growing threat unsustainable plastic consumption poses to our environment and our health.  

CIEH Head of Policy, Tony Lewis, said:

“The Government has made some welcome noises on the desperate need to tackle plastic pollution, but now is the time to take real and tangible action. Tinkering at the edges will simply not do.

It is hard to escape the impression that the Government is dragging its feet on this issue, which is disappointing considering the high-profile drive to showcase their environmental credentials.

We have been waiting since the Budget for the Chancellor and the Environment Secretary to outline ambitious plans to reduce plastic consumption and begin to clean up our environment. Today’s Spring Statement fell well short of expectation.

The Government must show stronger and quicker action if it is to live up to its own rhetoric.”


Notes to editors

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About the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH):   

CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health representing more than 8,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It ensures the highest standards of professional competence in its members, in the belief that through environmental health action people's health can be improved. 

Environmental health has an important and unique contribution to make to improving public health and reducing health inequalities. CIEH campaigns to ensure that government policy addresses the needs of communities and business in achieving and maintaining improvements to health and health protection.

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