Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, calls on the government to bring forward comprehensive proposals to support the creation of plastic-free communities across the country...
Today, 18th March, is Global Recycling Day.
300 million tonnes of plastic are produced globally each year. That is equivalent to the weight of the entire population of our planet. 4% of this ends up in our seas and oceans.
4% doesn’t sound like a lot. But it equates to 12 million tonnes of plastic pollution. There is a real danger of an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality with plastic pollution. We need urgent and robust action to tackle the mess that’s been created.
Activists in Crouch End, London, have started a campaign to create a plastic-free community. This is aimed at encouraging consumers, businesses and organisations to ditch plastic and to eliminate avoidable single-use plastic.
They are the latest in a line of more than 400 plastic-free local communities across the country.
There is a clear appetite for a major overhaul in the way we treat plastic. There needs to be a ban on single-use plastic while people need to take more responsibility for what they buy, and how they dispose of it.
The EU has set a recycling target of 50% of all household waste by 2020. In 2000, UK households recycled on average 11% per year. Last year, it was 43%. There has been a big upturn over the last two decades and we have made great strides but so much more needs to be done.
The government need concrete proposals to ensure the safeguarding of this planet.
Last Thursday, BANES Council held a meeting to decide on whether or not to declare a climate change emergency. Members of the group Extinction Rebellion Bath protested outside. BANES council signed up to the pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030, a big step to reducing air pollution in our city over the next decade.
Wera said: “As Spokesperson for Climate Change and the Environment for the Liberal Democrats, stopping over-reliance on fossil fuels, and creating plastic-free communities are so incredibly important for a sustainable future. It is vital that we bring in meaningful environmental legislation before too much of the damage done is completely irreversible.”
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO READ:
SIGN UP TO WERA'S MONTHLY BRIEFING:
VOLUNTEER FOR THE LOCAL LIBERAL DEMOCRATS: