Tax plastic polluters

Plastic bottles from different brands that have washed up on shore

There is increasingly consumer pressure for governments to tax the largest producers of plastic waste. It is becoming increasingly clear that businesses should be moving towards an 'extended producer responsibility' approach where they take responsibility for post-consumer waste created by their products. Taxing encourages this action.

Most black plastic is not recycled because sorting machinery cannot detect the black pigment.



  • Encourages an 'extended producer responsibility' approach
  • Raises money, which could be reinvested into further solutions
  • Forces companies to take financial responsibility for their waste


  • It needs to be enough tax that it becomes a deterrent, rather than being absorbed into business costs
  • Requires a checking system and enforcement
  • Will face opposition from 'big business'

Making a difference

Evidence suggests that 80% of the damage done to the environment from waste products can be avoided if more thoughtful decisions are made at the production stage.

There are hundreds of other ways to solve plastic pollution