Plastic waste crackdown: Theresa May to declare war on 'throwaway culture'

Christopher Furlong via Getty Images                   The government's successful 5p plastic bag charge is to be extended to small shops

Corner shops and retailers with fewer than 250 employees are now exempt from the 5p charge, but Theresa May and Michael Gove are to set out plans for extending the levy to cover these businesses.

Meanwhile, national media reports suggest that a plastic bottle deposit scheme will be introduced, enabling shoppers to receive 5p for every returned bottle.

The 5p charge on plastic bags is set to be enforced in corner shops and other small retailers, as the government extends its plans to tackle "throwaway culture".

Mr Gove's department has also said it is looking at proposals from the Environmental Audit Committee for a new 25p "latte levy" on disposable coffee cups to help reduce waste.

The plans, which have been inspired by similar initiatives in Australia and Denmark, are part of the Government's new environment strategy.

The PM said the plan would send a "clear message to the public about the Government's commitment to be the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than it inherited".

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Also under examination is a call from the all-party Environmental Audit Committee of MPs last week for urgent action to curb the mountain of up to five billion disposable coffee cups dumped each year, nearly none of which are recycled.

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Environment Secretary Michael Gove is set to unveil his plans for a "cash-for-return" plastic bottle scheme.

The Environment Secretary, who arrived to the Cabinet meeting holding a reusable coffee cup, said the introduction of the charge has caused a almost 90 per cent drop in the use of plastic bags.

It follows after Ms May unveiled plans last weekend to plant 50 million trees in a "Northern Forest" stretching along the M62 corridor between Liverpool and Hull over the coming 25 years.

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