Chancellor 'poised for fast food plastic tax'

Plastic packaging on fast food could be targeted in the Budget as Chancellor Philip Hammond seeks to raise more revenue while continuing the government's attempts to encourage a reduction in single-use plastic items. Mr Hammond is reportedly planning a 25p tax per plastic-lined cup, although many firms - such as coffee chains Starbucks and Costa Coffee - are now switching away from plastic.

Speaking to the Sun, Chris Snowdon of the Institute of Economic Affairs warned this would be a "slap in the face" for low-income people visiting chains like McDonalds, where it is expected any costs would be passed on to customers. He added, “If the government wants to encourage economic growth it should be cutting taxes, not discriminating against people on the basis of what they eat and drink.”

The tax is one of a number of ideas reportedly under consideration. The government recently set a target of eliminating single-use plastics from Britain within 25 years.