Plastic: Green groups welcome Theresa May’s plan to cut use

Theresa May

Theresa May, British PM

Theresa May, British PM

Environmental groups on Thursday welcomed Prime Minister Theresa May’s 25-year plan to create a “cleaner, greener Britain” by eliminating plastic waste, but said it did not go far enough.

The outline plan promises to eliminate “avoidable plastic waste” by 2042, encourage supermarkets to introduce plastic-free aisles and “promote the use of less damaging plastic packaging.”

It extends a requirement, introduced for supermarkets in 2015, for all shops to charge 5 pence (6.5 cents) for plastic carrier bags.

“In years to come, I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly,” May said in a speech launching the plan.

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Environmental group Greenpeace UK said, “the measures announced today don’t match the scale of the environmental crisis we face.”

WWF UK was more positive, saying the plan “could be a turning point for nature.”

Ahead of May’s speech, Friends of the Earth Chief Executive, Craig Bennett, said a long-term plan was needed, but “we can’t afford to wait a quarter of a century for urgent action to tackle the issues that already threaten our lives, health and planet.”