United Kingdom prime minister Theresa May said she wanted to "make ours the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than we found it".
Supermarkets would also be required to have plastic-free aisles where items such as fruit and vegetables are loose rather than wrapped up in film.
Brexit opponents worry that Britain will weaken environmental standards once it leaves the European Union in 2019. Next month the government will call for evidence on how taxes or charges could discourage the use of products such as takeaway containers. "I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly", PM May said of the pledge.
"This truly is one of the great environmental scourges of our time", May will say, according to excerpts of a speech released by her office. Much of this waste ends up in waterways and oceans, May said, with one in three fish caught in the Channel containing pieces of plastic.
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Shaun Spiers, executive director, Green Alliance said, www.edie.net reported, "This was a landmark speech, the first prime ministerial speech on the environment for 17 years. We must reduce the demand for plastic, reduce the number of plastics in circulation and improve our recycling rates".
In an effort to get a grip on this issue, Theresa May earlier today announced a further clamp down on 5p plastic bags with a new proposal to extend the charge that now affects supermarkets to stores with fewer than 250 employees.
Mrs May will say today: "We look back in horror at some of the damage done to..."
He added that Brexit would not result in a reduction in environmental protection: "I've already said that we want to set the global gold standard when it comes to the environment, and for animal welfare".