The FPA welcomes the Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement and 25 Year Plan for the Environment paper. All efforts to increase sustainability and recycling should be encouraged.

The FPA is already working closely with the government, Defra and various Committees to develop understanding of alternative ways of achieving the same objectives particularly the reform of the UK’s Producer Responsibility mechanism the PRN system. We believe Defra has moved PRN reform up its priority list and look forward to consulting with them.

The Prime Minister said that all EU environmental laws and regulations will be incorporated into UK law when we leave the Union. We welcome this as we believe this could include directives on the circular economy package which requires us to keep materials in circulation for as long as possible. We are committed to increasing recycling and believe this should feature strongly as part of the environment plan.

There was little reference to recycling in the Prime Minister’s speech. Not just of plastics but of all materials. The aim must be to deliver better value to the public.

The FPA is participating fully in the Treasury’s call for evidence regarding the possibility of taxing single use plastics.

We also agree the 5 pence carrier bag charge be extended to all retail outlets. Apart from levelling the playing field this sets the precedent for reducing the de minimus levels for producer responsibility obligations so all VAT registered business placing packaging on the market take part. We also reiterate our concerns over the need to use clean, fresh bags for hot food to go, which we strongly believe should have been the subject of exemption for hygiene reasons rather than the exemption for businesses of less than 250 full time employees

As an industry we have already made major investments in new recycling infrastructure and significantly increased the opportunities for consumers to recycling paper cups on the go. We look forward to continued positive dialogue and achieving the results we all so desire - a more sustainable circular economy.

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