UK plastics review may consider chewing gum tax

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

Is chewing gum a 'single-use plastic'? ©GettyImages/mettus
Is chewing gum a 'single-use plastic'? ©GettyImages/mettus

Related tags: Chewing gum, Gum, Tax, Uk, Waste

The UK government is exploring the environmental impact of ‘single-use plastics’ and potentially considering taxes, but is yet to determine if chewing gum will be included.

The government this week launched a call for evidence on using the tax system or charges to address single-use plastic waste.

Chancellor Phillip Hammond said in his Spring statement​ yesterday: “It will look at the whole supply chain for single use plastics. At alternative materials, reusable options and recycling opportunities.

“And it will look at how the tax system can help drive the technological progress and behavioral change we need.”

Is gum included?

A 22-page report​ by HM Treasury cites takeaway boxes and disposable coffee cups as ‘single-use plastics’, but does not namecheck chewing gum, which is often made from synthetic rubber.

A Treasury spokesperson told ConfectioneryNews: “It could be included, but we don’t have a policy yet.”

The Treasury is inviting evidence until May 18, 2018.

Its report says single-use plastics “includes all products that are made wholly or partly of plastic and are typically intended to be used just once and/or for a short period of time before being disposed of.”

The Treasury spokesperson said the government would only implement new taxes within the fiscal calendar. The chancellor will announce the autumn/fall budget later this year.

Mars Wrigley to ‘look carefully’ at call for evidence

A spokesperson for Mars Wrigley Confectionery told this site: “We take the issue of littered gum very seriously and strongly believe that changing individual behavior around litter is the only long term solution to keep our streets clean. 

“We will continue to work constructively with the government on this issue and will look carefully at today’s call for evidence as part of this.”

Mars Wrigley said it was the largest funder of anti-littering campaigns in the UK, including of schools tour 'Bin It!' designed to educate pupils about the need to reduce litter. 

Related topics: Gum, Mars, Regulation & Safety

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