Today we are very lucky to have a guest blogger on our webiste. Ruby Clarkson is a freelance writer who is passionate about our planet and the animals that we share it with. When she is not writing, she is either out in the garden or wrapped up in a blanket with a good book. Accompanied by a bar of chocolate of course. 

UK government plans are in motion to introduce a tax on plastic manufacturers by 2022. This may sound daunting for plastic producers however a tax will only be placed if the plastic contains less than 30% recyclable plastic.

Should this tax be passed, there will be a huge opportunity for new plastic manufacturing techniques, new potential for growth and a great chance to create a cleaner future for our planet. Any manufacturer that feels hard done by needs to change their mindset or pack up and go home.

Creating new recyclable plastic may cost the manufacturers more money at first but it will be beneficial in the long run. No tax will be implemented on those that produce plasti

Recent worldwide findings inspired by the likes of BBC’s Blue Planet II showed shocking levels of single-use plastic polluting our planet, in our oceans in particular. Plastic was shown to be killing sea life, and, with fishes eating molecules of plastic, that means we are digesting plastic too.

It was certainly a wake-up call for the world and thankfully actions are being taken to combat this huge issue. The UK has stepped up to the plate so far with plans to ban single-use plastics like drinking straws and stirrers as well as coming forward with the 2022 scheme to tax non-recyclable plastics. Other countries are sure to implement a similar system based on this.

 Tossing it all into a recycling bin is easy, but collection costs are expensive, and it cannot be guaranteed that all loose plastic will be recycled as it has a tendency to overflow into alternative waste streams, or even go missing in bad weather. It also makes waste areas look cluttered and untidy, which is unappealing to the public eye.

Many businesses are doing the best they can with the plastic they produce. One way that some are doing this is by investing in better recycling equipment, which means that no bins are used for disposing of plastic, which would mean a waste management company segregating the waste themselves and therefore hundreds of extra pounds spent to accommodate this. Instead, many businesses use different methods such as shredders, balers, or crushers, all of which can help ensure that majority of waste is recycled and, according to QCR, businesses are saving money, time and space by segregating everything on site, establishing a more efficient waste management system

After 2022, the segregation process should become even simpler with manufacturers likely to make recyclable plastic easy to detect from non-recyclable plastic. It would be foolish to think that by 2022 all plastic will be recyclable, so it would be advantageous to have a system where it is broadcasted and obvious to workers which plastic has over 30% recyclable content and which does not.

However, this tax does not come without its obstacles. For example, it is because of this tax that the ‘Latte Levy’ – which would have introduced a 25p extra charge on single-use coffee cups – is no longer being considered as it is not as effective in encouraging recycling.  There is also the concern of the overall cost of this tax, plus the ‘challenging nature’ of collecting recycling, according to the head of PET. This links back to my previous point of installing better waste management systems.

The 2022 scheme to make producers pay for waste if they cannot create plastic which is over 30% recyclable is a bold and most promising move by the UK government. Those that manufacture plastic are the ones ultimately responsible for providing everyone with eco-friendly packaging that can be easily reused. With mostly recyclable plastic in use across the UK, a very small percentage of plastic should head to landfill, or worse, the ocean. Recycling rates should increase significantly, which will show the world that UK recycling is being taken very seriously and that others should follow the trend. Wales currently has an impressive recycling rate (57.6%) whereas England (45.2%), Scotland (43.5%) and Northern Ireland (46.3%) are performing below expectations. The 2022 scheme should therefore help UK recycling figures to surge.

 

 

 

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