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Budget 2017 tax on single-use plastic

23 Nov 2017

Responding to the Chancellor's announcement that he would investigate a tax on single-use plastic, Tearfund's Senior Associate Joanne Green said:

“This is a welcome announcement that if implemented would go some way to reducing the amount of plastic we use and throw away in the UK.

“As we’ve seen on our TVs recently plastics are increasingly being found in the stomachs of whales, dolphins and fish, and microplastics have been found in both fish and sea salt for human consumption. This has potentially serious but as yet unknown consequences for human health.

“Whilst it’s very important to see efforts to tackle plastic waste at home, this should also be a pressing issue for the UK’s aid budget. Two billion people in developing countries do not have any waste management services whatsoever. Increasing waste management services would help tackle the half of marine litter which comes from developing countries, as well as directly improve public health in developing countries: reducing diarrhoeal diseases and eliminating the estimated 270,000 premature deaths a year attributed to open burning of waste.

“I want the UK Government to use some of our aid budget to extend waste collection in developing nations to save lives and reduce the amount of plastic in our oceans."

Notes for Editors

  • For more information please contact Tearfund’s media team on 07710 573749 
  • Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency and a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee

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