Plastic tax is soon to be introduced by the government. This is to encourage businesses producing “bad” plastics to switch to more environmentally friendly materials.

A wide range of Non-recyclable plastics such as drinking straws, black food trays, single use cutlery, takeaway packaging, crisp packets are some of products that will be affected in the plastic tax change, to help reduce damage to the earth.

A consultation on how taxes could tackle the rising problem received a ‘record breaking’ response with 162,000 replies from businesses and members of the public.

It was also revealed that most plastic food containers in shops can not be recycled, coffee cups are thrown away – 2.5 billion a year, and almost none are recycled, hence half a million a day littered.

The Treasury Minister said the government was looking at “smart intelligent incentive”’ to get plastic producers to take responsibility.

Shown here is the approximate time taken for materials to decompose.

  • Plastic bag: 20 -1,000 years
  • Plastic bottle: 450 years
  • Polystyrene cup: 50 years
  • Plastic lined paper cup: 30 years

Shown here is plastic in numbers.

  • 300 million – tons of plastic produced globally each year
  • 12 per cent – amount of plastic recycled
  • Five trillion – pieces of microplastic in ocean, with one rubbish truck load added each minute
  • 11,000 – pieces of microplastic ingested by humans each year from sea food
  • 780,000 – microplastics humans will ingest by the end of the century
  • 8.5 billion – plastic bags used in English supermarkets yearly before the 5p charge
  • 6 billion – estimated bags removed from circulation annually at the last count, an 80% reduction
  • 12 minutes – useful lifespan of average plastic bag

Friends of the earth welcomed the publics response saying it “highlights the overwhelming demand for tougher action to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution”.