Everyday single-use plastic items such as disposable coffee cups, takeaway boxes and polystyrene packaging could be hit with charges akin to the 5p levy on plastic bags, the government has warned.
The Treasury said it was looking at changes to taxation and new levies to tackle plastic waste, but campaigners and politicians accused the government of delaying action.
The chancellor, Phllip Hammond, said: “We must take bold action to become a world leader in tackling the scourge of single-use plastic littering our streets, countryside and coastline.”
The government has not made any new decisions on what products to impose charges on, but Hammond used his spring statement to launch a call for evidence asking industry, green groups and the public how best to reduce the amount of plastic rubbish.
Hammond was jeered by the opposition when announcing the call for evidence, with Labour MPs shouting “get on with it!”. Mary Creagh, the chair of the environment audit committee, accused the government of starting a process that would “drag on for years”.