Parliamentary authorities have announced its boldest move yet in a bid to tackle plastic waste, by announcing a ban on the sale of plastic water bottles in Parliament.
Plans also revealed that Parliament will introduce a ‘latte levy’ and will remove individual condiment sachets from all catering outlets on the Parliamentary Estate.
Last year more than 2 million single-use plastics were consumed in the House of Commons alone, and Parliament’s Environment Team have proposed a ‘waste hierarchy’ strategy that will significantly reduce this over the next 12 months.
Luke has been a member of Labour’s Shadow Defra team since August 2017 and was recently promoted by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to be Labour’s Shadow Fisheries Minister.
The Shadow Defra team is responsible for shadowing Michael Gove’s department and covers environment issues such as plastic-waste within Jeremy Corbyn’s team.
Recently, the Shadow DEFRA team have been pushing the Government to implement tougher restrictions on single-use plastics.
Michael Gove’s Department are yet to implement any primary legislation since the General Election despite numerous promises, and the action to reduce single-use plastics in Parliament was made based on reports from the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee.
Labour MP for Wakefield, Mary Creagh is the Chair of the Committee and has recently welcomed the move as an:
“important step to creating the world’s first plastic-free parliament.”
Luke Pollard MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport said:
“Parliament should be leading by example on plastic use. It isn’t at the moment but these steps go a long way to showing other workplaces what can be done. The move towards a plastic-free Parliament is just the first step for what I hope will become a national trend.
While Parliament will be minimising its environmental impact, the real change needs to come across the UK and the Tory Government needs to do more to reduce the impact of single-use plastics across the country. Michael Gove has promised plastic-free aisles in our supermarkets by 2040 but has failed to implement a latte levy that would see an extra charge on consumers using single-use coffee cups, and we need more action now.
We were all shocked by the Blue Planet II documentary which showed how urgently we must act to save our oceans.
The plans to reduce the use of single-use plastics in Parliament is the first step of many towards doing that.”