The Green Party’s environment manifesto, published ahead of the snap general election on 8 June, has pledged to introduce a deposit return scheme (DRS) to end what it calls “unnecessary single-use plastics”.
The Green Party Environment Manifesto also states that as well as implementing a DRS, the Party would promote the culture of reusing and refilling, through: free public water dispensers and a community refill scheme; and an end to unnecessary single-use plastics.
“Tackling plastic waste sits alongside our long-standing commitment to creating a more circular economy – where recycling and reusing materials become central to our way of life,” it states.
The manifesto says in the UK 35m plastic bottles are bought every day – 200 per person every year – and that 44% of these are not recycled, meaning 16m plastic bottles every day end up in the environment, whether sent to landfill, incinerated or dumped in the countryside, parks, streets or beaches.
“Tackling plastic waste sits alongside our long-standing commitment to creating a more circular economy – where recycling and reusing materials become central to our way of life”
The document also states the Party would introduce an Environmental Protection Act and would create a new environmental regulator and court to “effectively monitor and enforce environmental law”. It said this would include new statutory requirements for updates to (and debates in) Parliament on the state of nature and biodiversity.
The Party would create a new Green Investment and Innovation Centre with borrowing powers to help create and finance the transition to a zero-carbon economy. This would replace the UK Green Investment Bank, which it calls “a victim of reckless Conservative ideology” – and create a government-owned hub for innovation and investment in a low-carbon economy.
The Green Party Environment Manifesto follows the reported Labour manifesto leak earlier this week, which reportedly stated a Labour pledge to “set guiding targets for plastic bottle deposit schemes, working with food manufacturers and retailers to reduce waste.”
The document also includes the text that Labour wants to ensure that 60% of the UK’s energy comes from “low or renewable sources” by 2030.