UK Prime Minister Theresa May has unveiled a plan to eradicate all avoidable plastic waste by 2042. Reuters reports that by placing a new environmental agenda center stage, “May is keen to put divisions over leaving the European Union, scandals and an ill-judged election behind her and try to broaden the appeal of her Conservative Party.”
May announced the initiative during a speech today at the London Wetlands Centre. Highlighting the issue of plastics pollution, May said that people in the future would be “shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly,” reported the Guardian. The only immediate new policy, however, was to extend a 5 pence charge for plastic bags to smaller shops in England, added the article. Small shops have been exempt from the plastic bag fee, unlike in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, where the fee has been successfully implemented across the board.
The plan also encourages the development of “plastic-free supermarket aisles.” The government will explore whether supermarkets can introduce aisles where there is no plastic packaging and all the food is loose, according to the Guardian.