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Philip Toscano/PA Wire
UK News

Christian group welcomes waste-tackling measure in new budget

by Tola Mbakwe

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced on Wednesday that single-use plastics such as packaging and polystyrene takeaway boxes could be taxed to tackle waste.

While a tax isn't set in stone, the measure shall be considered.

It's hoped a tax on single-use plastic will help prevent pollution in the world's oceans and protect the environment.

Responding to the Chancellor's announcement, Tearfund's Senior Associate Joanne Green said: "As we've seen on our TVs recently plastics are increasingly being found in the stomachs of whales, dolphins and fish, and microplastics have been found in both fish and sea salt for human consumption.

"This has potentially serious but as yet unknown consequences for human health."

Green also drew attention to how better waste management services can help developing countries.

She added: "Two billion people in developing countries do not have any waste management services whatsoever.

"Increasing waste management services would help tackle the half of marine litter which comes from developing countries, as well as directly improve public health in developing countries: reducing diarrhoeal diseases and eliminating the estimated 270,000 premature deaths a year attributed to open burning of waste.

"I want the UK Government to use some of our aid budget to extend waste collection in developing nations to save lives and reduce the amount of plastic in our oceans."

The Government has said that the amount of single-use plastic wasted every year in the UK enough to fill 1,000 Royal Albert Halls - and one in three fish caught in the English Channel containing pieces of plastic.

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