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Government plans to eliminate plastic waste by 2042
Around 255,000 pieces of litter were removed from UK beaches as part of the Great British Beach Clean.
Theresa May outlines 25-year plan for the environment

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced new measures to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by 2042.

The new measures include an extension to the 5p carrier bag charge to all retailers and work with supermarkets to encourage them to introduce plastic-free aisles. They form part of the government’s 25-year plan for the environment ‘to leave our environment in a better state than we found it’.

In her speech today (11 January), Theresa May said: “In years to come, I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly. This truly is one of the great environmental scourges of our time.”

Mrs May outlined how the government intends to look at how the tax system or charges could further reduce the amount of plastic waste created by industry. She added that a call for evidence on how to reduce since use plastics will begin next month.

The Prime Minister also confirmed that she would be injecting new funding into plastics innovation through a bid into the government’s £7 billion research and development pot.

“Today I can confirm that the UK will demonstrate global leadership,” she said. “We must reduce the demand for plastic, reduce the number of plastics in circulation and improve our recycling rates. To tackle it we will take action at every stage of the production and consumption of plastic.”

Since the 1950s, an estimated 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste is thought to have been produced. The government says that, without urgent action to cut down this demand, then it is likely to be around 34 billion tonnes by 2050.

In September 2017, some 255,000 pieces of litter were removed from UK beaches as part of the Great British Beach Clean. Figures published by the Marine Conservation Society show that much of this litter was from food and drinks items, such as plastic cups, straws and cutlery. 

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Vets save premature penguin chick

News Story 1
 Vets have saved a tiny Humboldt penguin chick after her egg was accidentally broken by her parents. Keepers at ZSL London Zoo were shocked to find the chick, named Rainbow, still alive and rushed her straight to the Zoo’s on-site veterinary clinic.

It was a little way to go until the chick should have hatched, so the process was touch and go. Vets removed bits of shell from around the chick with tweezers until she could be lifted out and placed in a makeshift nest.

Rainbow is now in a custom-built incubation room where she spends her days cuddled up to a toy penguin. Keepers will hand-fed Rainbow for the next 10 weeks until she is healthy enough to move to the penguin nursery.  

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News Shorts
BVA infographic to help shoppers understand farm assurance schemes

An infographic to help members of the public understand farm assurance schemes has been produced by the BVA. The infographic outlines BVA’s priorities for animal welfare and shows whether or not the schemes address these priorities in their standards.

BVA president John Fishwick said: “The infographic is not intended to be a league table but to allow people to understand what aspects of animal health and welfare are addressed by assurance schemes so that they can decide which scheme best aligns with their own individual preferences and priorities."