Hammond calls for evidence on cutting plastic waste

Philip Hammond is to launch a public consultation on how the tax system can be used to cut down on the most environmentally damaging single-use plastics.

The Chancellor will use his first Spring Statement on Tuesday to call for evidence from green groups, industry and individuals as to how the Government can build on its plastic bag charge.

The consultation comes after he announced in the Budget in November that ministers would be looking at how the tax system could be used to help deliver the Government's target of eliminating avoidable plastic waste by 2042.

Mr Hammond will also use his statement in the Commons to unveil a £20 million innovation fund for businesses and universities to develop the new technologies and approaches that will be needed to achieve their goal.

Mr Hammond said: "Single-use plastics waste is a scourge to our environment. From crisp packets to coffee cups, each year the UK produces millions of tonnes of waste which is neither recyclable nor biodegradable.

"We are determined to create an environment that is fit for future generations. By working with industry, innovators and the public I am confident we can bring about real change."

It is expected to be one of the few spending announcements in the Spring Statement - following on from Mr Hammond's decision to move the Budget to the autumn - which will focus on updating the economic forecasts of the Office for Budget Responsibility.