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Government ‘rejects’ calls for retailers to pay 1p fast fashion tax | UK News



A series of proposals aimed at ending fast fashion have been rejected by the government, a cross-party group of MPs has said.

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) accused the government of being “out of step with the public” and claimed urgent action is needed to make retailers take responsibility for the waste they produce.

The group recommended several measures in a report, including charging fashion producers 1p per garment to raise £35m for better clothing collection and recycling, but said all proposals were rejected.

However, the government said that action is already being taken to deal with issue of so-called fast fashion and plans are in the pipeline for the future.

Labour MP Mary Creagh, committee chairwoman, said fashion producers should be “forced to clear up the mountains of waste they create”.

She said: “The government has rejected our call, demonstrating that it is content to tolerate practices that trash the environment and exploit workers, despite having just committed to net zero emission targets.”

Ms Creagh accused the government of being “out of step with the public” and said people are “shocked by the fact we are sending 300,000 tonnes of clothes a year to incineration or landfill”.

She added: “Ministers have failed to recognise that urgent action must be taken to change the fast fashion business model which produces cheap clothes that cost the earth”.

The committee’s report – Fixing Fashion: Clothing Consumption And Sustainability – was published in February and recommended “clear economic incentives” to encourage retailers to “do the right thing”.

MP Mary Creagh said the government has rejected the committee's proposals
MP Mary Creagh says urgent action is needed to make retailers take responsibility for the waste they create

It suggested the government reform taxation to reward companies that design products with lower environmental impacts and penalise those that do not.

Ms Creagh said the government had also not accepted the group’s recommendations to amend the Modern Slavery Act to make sure companies perform due diligence checks across their supply chains to ensure their products are made without child or forced labour.

A government spokesman said: “It simply isn’t true to say we are not accepting the committee’s recommendations – we are tackling the environmental impacts of ‘fast fashion’ and much of what the committee would like to achieve is already covered by government policy.”

The government pointed to its voluntary Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP), which sets industry targets for reducing carbon emissions, water and waste.

It said it had “noted” the committee’s recommendation to charge producers 1p per garment and would consider it as they developed the extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes.

The spokesman said the UK was tackling modern slavery with its “ground-breaking Modern Slavery Act”.

“The prime minister announced last week that the government will create a new central online reporting service for modern slavery statements to give consumers the ability to make more informed choices about where they shop,” he added.

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