The UK produces billions of pieces of throwaway plastics such as plastic straws, plastic cutlery, plastic cups and coffee cups every year. Yet a huge percentage of these are not recycled – instead they end up littering our streets, our beaches and washing out to sea where they pollute our oceans and harm marine wildlife, which we then end up consuming!

One of the most effective solutions is to introduce a small tax on throwaway items (straws, cups, cutlery, takeaway boxes, coffee cups, beer cups) at the point of sale. This has been incredibly successful with plastic carrier bags, where a small 5p charge has resulted in a reduction of over 80% in use in supermarkets.

Why charge the customer? We pay enough taxes, the retailers should be held responsible!

Indeed they should, but if the charge went to the retailers experts suggest all they would do is hike up their prices, the consumer would still pay – unknowingly – and it would be business as usual with millions of single use items being used every day.

The tax collected should be ring-fenced for investment in anti-pollution strategies and solutions that work towards a circular economy where ‘waste’ is designed out of our system.

This year we launched a petition with 38 Degrees which over 242,000 of you signed calling for action in the Autumn Budget. Following this, a staggering 162,000 responses were received to HM Treasury’s consultation seeking views on tackling the single-use plastic issue, which marks the highest government consultation response rate thus far.

THE RESPONSE: They axed the tax.

In case you didn’t catch the news, on the 30th Nov Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that the UK will introduce a new tax on the *manufacture and import* of plastic packaging that contains less than 30% recycled plastic during his Autumn Budget speech. It won’t be implemented for another four years and that’s subject to (another) consultation. Read our latest blog to find out more about what this means or watch our Founder, Natalie Fee’s video response below.

What's next for the Plastic Tax?

Our founder, Natalie Fee's response to yesterday's disappointing budget in which the chancellor vetoed a tax at point of sale on take-away single use plastics 🤦Almost 1/4 of a million of you signed our petition with 38 Degrees and it was the highest response rate of any government enquiry EVER – despite this we have been ignored. This would have made a huge difference to stopping plastic pollution at source. Have a watch and see what's next…

Posted by City to Sea on Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Thanks for your support – the fight doesn’t stop here!

UPDATE: Read here why we’re calling on the Welsh government to step up and implement the latte levy!