Plastic Free Parliament

Without urgent action to cut demand, plastic production is likely to reach 34 billion tonnes by 2050, the majority of which will end up in landfill or polluting the world's continents and oceans. Re-using and recycling plastics is critical. I am glad to tell you that the new 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment commits the Government to working to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste over its lifetime. It sets out a four-point plan for action at each stage of the product lifecycle: production, consumption and end of life. All this will result in the reduction of the demand and use of single-use plastic.

None of Parliament’s waste goes to landfill, with Parliament operating a mixed recycling scheme which captures paper, cardboard, plastics and cans, resulting in the recycling of as much waste as possible. In addition, my colleagues continue to explore new opportunities to recycle and recover waste.

I do not generally sign Early Day Motions as I believe they have little effect, but I am pleased that Parliament is currently reviewing the use of single use disposable plastics and is actively involved in a range of initiatives and pilot schemes looking to reduce the amount plastic thrown away on the estate. One example of this is the sourcing a new reusable cup which will be sold in both retail and catering outlets for visitors as well as pass holders. I hope that this will encourage people to think about the amount of plastic they use and will result in the reduction of plastic use across the estate.

I have joined and am a supporter of the @SkyOceanRescue campaign against plastic waste. This is hugely important to East Devon which has a beautiful coastline. I have also signed up to the Great British Oceans Blue Belt Charter.  I also maintain an interest in biodegradable plastics.