Plastic Waste Reduction in the UK

British currency pence pounds

Multiple regulatory changes in the United Kingdom have the potential to greatly reduce their plastic waste.

  • The UK government is seeking public comments within eight weeks of December 27, 2018 on a proposed rule that would increase the current charge for Plastic Carrier Bags from 5 to 10 pence each which would apply to all, not just large retailers;
  • is developing measures to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste through its December 18, 2018 Resources and Waste Strategy;
  • has adopted a ban on microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products that took effect on January 9, 2018;
  • initiated on October 22, 2018 a consultation on restricting the sale of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds;
  • on March 28, 2018 announced a plan for a deposit return scheme to increase recycling rates for bottles and cans;
  • and on October 29, 2018 announced plans for a tax that “will apply to all plastic packaging that doesn’t include at least 30% recycled content.”