Theresa May will pledge to eradicate all avoidable plastic waste in the UK by 2042.
The commitment is part of a 25-year plan to improve the natural environment being launched on Thursday.
In her speech to launch the plan the prime minister will say: “I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly.”
But green groups are angry the proposals will have no legal force.
They say the plans could simply be shelved if they become inconvenient and the promise to stop “avoidable” plastic waste is too vague.