SCIENCE & TECH

UK’s plastic bag ban is a pitiful attempt at a greener future

Smiling Theresa May at a podium that says

Tough on plastic bags, but it’s not enough

Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty

Prime Minister Theresa May today unveiled the UK government’s long-awaited 25-year plan for improving the environment. It contains much talk about protecting wildlife, making the country cleaner and greener, and so on. It all sounds wonderful, but it is mostly waffle.

“The government’s 25-year environment plan is a monumental anti-climax,” declared the Green Party. “Nothing new, nothing of substance, nothing to tackle climate change.”

Take the plans to reduce plastic pollution, which dominated the headlines. A worthy goal, absolutely. But what will actually be done? A mandatory 5-pence charge for plastic bags will be extended to small shops as well as large ones. Plastic bag usage has already fallen nearly 90 per cent due to the 5p charge in large shops, so this is not going to make a huge difference.

It’s worth pointing out, too, that this

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New Scientist – Earth

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