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UK Government should act now not ‘consult’ on clean air and plastics

UK Chancellor Philip Hammond has told MPs that the government will ‘consult’ rather than take  action now on new clean air and plastics measures.

During today’s Spring Statement in the House of Commons, Philip Hammond announced a consultation on reducing Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) for the cleanest vans.

Andrea Lee, senior clean air campaigner at ClientEarth said: “Reducing duty on the cleanest vans is a welcome move, but the Chancellor should be getting on with it now, not launching yet another consultation. The government knows that it needs to encourage cleaner forms of transport in order to clean up illegal and harmful pollution.

“If he was serious, the Chancellor would have found money to help British industries develop cleaner van technologies and give people and business more options to reduce their emissions.”

The Chancellor also announced that the government will call for evidence on taxing single-use plastic. ClientEarth lawyer Tatiana Lujan said:

“Unnecessary single-use plastics, like plastic cutlery and some food packaging, are threatening our seas and the marine life in them.

“We are pleased the government is at least considering taxing single-use plastics but it should be taking firm action, now, to stop plastic pollution not delaying yet further. MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee have provided plenty of evidence that is sufficient for the government to act now. Our oceans can’t wait. “

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Aaron Burden