The Government have banned the use of microbeads in cosmetics and banned the use of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds, and the 5p charge for single-use plastic bags has reduced their use by 95% in the main supermarkets. We are increasing the charge to 10p and extending it to all retailers. In addition, we are seeking powers in the Environment Bill to require similar charges for single-use plastic items, to make recycling collections more consistent and to reform packaging producer waste responsibility schemes.
Earlier this year, I was written to by year 6 pupils in the Chevening and St Lawrence primary schools. They were asking me to protect the environment, and reducing plastic pollution was top of their list. I am sure they will have been reassured by the Secretary of State’s answer, but can he reassure them further that we will act to stop this attack on our environment and that they will see change in their lifetime?
My hon. Friend makes an important point, and I congratulate the Chevening and St Lawrence primary schools on their interest in this. All hon. Members cannot help but have noticed the rising awareness within all our schools of the scourge of plastics in particular and the action that must be taken. In my own constituency, I have been contacted by schools such as Lanner, Troon, Treleigh, Rosemellin and Roskear on this very matter just in the past year. We are working very hard to address the concerns raised by pupils in my hon. Friend’s primary schools.