Medicine-related items should be excluded from a proposed Government crackdown on single-use plastics and should not attract a “plastic tax”, the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) has said. The statement follows a recent consultation by the HM Treasury on potential options to change the tax system or to introduce charges to reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste.

Malcolm Harrison, CCA chief executive commented: “Medicines are not ordinary consumer products, and any efforts to deliver better environmental outcomes must not have unintended consequences for patient care. We sincerely hope that any policy decisions around changing the tax system or introducing charges for single-use plastics consider very carefully the impacts on sectors such as healthcare, including pharmacy.”

Plastic is used for many dosing aids and healthcare products because it does not usually interact with the active ingredients, said the CCA, and may be difficult to substitute safely. Finding viable alternatives, subject to extensive testing and quality control, would be a “longer-term project”, Mr Harrison said.

However, CCA member companies are actively “involved in and committed to” a range of environmental and sustainability initiatives, he added, before suggesting that pharmacy and healthcare generally are not in a position to absorb any further taxation if a scheme was introduced. “Any direct or indirect financial strain on the NHS and pharmacy businesses from new plastic taxes simply cannot be borne at present,” he concluded.

Recommended

Pharmacists “absolutely critical” to Scotland’s healthcare ambitions

The “clinical leadership” of pharmacists and technicians is “absolutely critical” to realising S...

Social prescribing schemes get £4.5m

GPs will be able to refer more patients to social activities and other types of support to improve health and wellbeing ...




This website is for healthcare professionals, people who work in pharmacy and pharmacy students. By clicking into any content, you confirm this describes you and that you agree to Training Matters's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

We use essential, performance, functional and advertising cookies to give you a better web experience. Find out how to manage these cookies here. We also use Interest Based Advertising Cookies to display relevant advertisements on this and other websites based on your viewing behaviour. By clicking "Accept" you agree to the use of these Cookies and our Cookie Policy.