Political lobbying for a plastic bag tax in Northern Ireland is using the global issue of marine litter to divert attention from the fact that plastic carrier bags are resource efficient, according to a joint statement issued today by the Plastics 2020 Challenge in which the BPF, PAFA and PlasticsEurope are joint partners.
Barry Turner of the Packaging and Films Association said, 'This is a transparent and blatant PR move aimed at playing on emotions by suggesting that marine wildlife is under global threat from plastic carrier bags used by the people of Northern Ireland for carrying their shopping home. It is a feeble attempt to justify a tax at a time when people can least afford it. The Plastics 2020 Challenge takes the litter problem very seriously and is involved in diverting plastic waste from landfill and in educating school children to recycle their used plastics packaging instead of littering them'.
'A levy on the plastic bag will not solve the root cause of the litter problem' said PlasticsEurope's Jan-Erik Johansson .'This can only be done by eliminating landfill and educating citizens, offering them responsible litter options. The Plastics 2020 Challenge does not want to see any plastic – or indeed any other material – litter our streets, beaches or marine environment. Litter is a result of poor waste management, lack of waste bins and irresponsible behaviour” .
'The BPF condemns this patently opportunistic move', said Public and Industrial Affairs Director Philip Law.'If you want a bag you are far better off, from a functional, environmental and hygienic point of view, having it in plastics than any other material. Authoritative and independent studies back this up’.
For further information contact Philip Law, BPF Public & Industrial Affairs Director, on 0207 457 5000 or email@example.com
Notes for Editors :
Plastics 2020 is a UK- based campaign to promote the sensible waste management of used plastics packaging based on the principles of Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle and Recover. It is sponsored by three leading trade associations :
PlasticsEurope : www.plasticseurope.org
British Plastics Federation (BPF) : www.bpf.co.uk
Packaging and Films Association (PAFA) : www.pafa.org.uk