MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee have launched an inquiry into plastic packaging for food and drink.
Evidence may be submitted until midnight on 2 May through its website, after which MPs will choose who to invite to give oral evidence. This would normally include Defra ministers or senior civil servants.
It will examine the impact of Government proposals for extended producer responsibility for waste packaging and for a tax on plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content.
Committee chair, Conservative MP Neil Parish, said plastic pollution “has become a global environmental problem”.
“Once plastic packaging becomes waste, most of it does not biodegrade – which damages the environment and affects a range of marine species.”
Parish said the committee wanted to find out what progress has been made in developing and using more environmentally friendly alternatives to plastics and how they performed compared with plastic food and drink packaging.
The committee wants evidence on:
- What is the impact of extended producer responsibility for packaging on use of plastics;
- Would the proposed plastic tax encourage the use of more sustainable packaging;
- Progress by packaging manufacturers, food producers and retailers in using alternatives to plastic, and reducing consumers’ use of plastic food and drink packaging;
- Barriers to and opportunities for further innovation;
- How alternatives perform compared with plastic food and drink packaging;
- Are there food and drink products for which it is essential to use plastics;
- Is adequate research and development funding available.