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2017 Autumn Budget - Possible tax on single use plastics

Phil Wild, CEO of James Cropper PLC – British master papermakers and experts in the development of sustainable alternatives to plastic and recycling of post-consumer coffee cups.

“The Chancellor’s call for evidence on whether a tax on the use of single-use plastics would help prevent ocean pollution and protect the environment comes as no surprise. Rather, it demonstrates the enormity of an issue rooted in consumer behaviour and the decisions taken by brands when it comes to packaging.

“The global crisis caused by single-use plastics is no secret and the impact of discarded waste on marine and bird life has been widely documented over recent months. In response to this, it is crucial that we take every possible step to protect our planet, tackling the current problems to help make a positive change for the future.

“As a business driven by a commitment to sustainability, James Cropper naturally supports anything that will help to do this, including initiatives designed to reduce the environmental impact of waste plastics.

“During our 172-year experience of paper making, we’ve created some of the world’s most distinctive, technologically advanced paper products. Using fibre sourced from sustainably managed forests, where three trees are planted for each one used, we provide naturally biodegradable packaging solutions across a whole range of sectors from everyday household goods to luxury products.

“Throughout this time, we’ve witnessed the changing demands from brands and consumers and developed sustainable solutions to meet these, which is exactly the approach we’ve taken when it comes to the issue of single-use plastics. We’ve developed the technology to recycle disposable paper cups, and with our CupCyclingTM process we’re working with leading brands and retailers, such as Selfridges, to turn some of the 2.5 billion cups used in the UK each year into packaging products – a unique, closed-loop solution.

“COLOURFORM™, a sustainable alternative to plastic packaging made from moulded paper fibre, has been created in direct response to the growing demand for packaging options that enhance brand value and are made from renewable materials, easily recyclable and biodegradable. Brands like Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics have adopted COLOURFORM™ for these very reasons.

“The Government’s commitment to a greener future is to be applauded, and we encourage investment into advancing the development and adoption of alternatives to plastics, such as moulded fibre. Manufacturing will form a significant part of this innovation, but improving the nation’s infrastructure for collection and recycling, education around more sustainable alternatives, and research and development into use of alternative materials, must not be ignored.

“There is still a long way to go, and it will require engagement across all levels of society. That said, it must be recognised that processes and technology to meet these objectives are already in place, certain brands are sitting up and taking notice of other options and consumers are demonstrating an enthusiasm to change their habits in order to leave less of an environmental footprint – and this must be celebrated.”

2017 Autumn Budget - Possible tax on single use plastics