Where public opinion goes, politicians are sure to follow.
Thanks to documentary series Blue Planet 2 and its highlighting of the plastic waste impact on our oceans, there is a groundswell of support for measures to reduce the amount of plastic heading for the landfill.
According to the Guardian, this autumn’s budget could see Chancellor Philip Hammond addressing the issue with a series of measures such as a ‘latte levy’ on single-use coffee cups and tax changes to encourage manufacturers to both recycle more and buy more recycled plastics.
The response to a government consultation on the issue suggests there is overwhelming support for more stringent laws around plastic use – a significant 162,000 individuals, businesses and campaign groups answered the call for comments and suggestions on the issue, with the vast majority backing action against plastic waste.
The government is considering changes to discourage the use of difficult-to-recycle plastics such as carbon black plastic and encourage more recycling of plastic as an alternative to incineration. Regulations could also reduce demand for single-use plastics such as takeaway boxes, drinking straws, tea stirrers and cotton buds.
A greener approach to plastic use is something to be welcomed, for both impact investors and for the opportunities it provides for innovators and entrepreneurs. Earlier this year Transcend Packaging received investment from the SFC EIS Growth Fund. The alternative packaging solutions company has shown a promising start by securing a contract with fast food giant McDonalds. The company is set to provide eco-friendly paper straws for McDonald’s across the UK and Ireland.
The 5p plastic bag levy has proven that the public is supportive of moves to reduce plastic usage. Since its introduction in 2014, plastic bag use is down more than 80% in England and the UK economy has benefited around £780m, with £730m raised for good causes and £60m savings in litter clearing costs.
The government has a 25 Year Environment Plan aimed at eliminating all avoidable plastic waste. Initiatives include a £20m plastics innovation fund and £61.4m fund for tackling plastic in the world’s oceans.
Contact the team on 020 7843 0470 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can invest in a cleaner, greener future today.