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Plastic Pollution

Volume 705: debated on Thursday 9 December 2021

We have banned plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds; carrier bag sales are down by 95% in main supermarkets, and we have extended our move on that issue to all businesses; and we are consulting on banning single-use plastic plates and cutlery and exploring how we tackle the scourge of wet wipes, sachets and other items. The Environment Act 2021 gives us a framework for extended producer responsibility, deposit return schemes and greater consistency in recycling, to help drive down plastic waste.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for her answer. It has been said that the UK is one of the most significant plastic waste producers: each year it produces 99 kg of plastic waste per person, compared with 88 kg in South Korea and 81 kg in Germany. My constituents Amy and Ella Meek have set up the charity Kids Against Plastic to help to raise awareness in schools, and I am due to speak with them on a panel later today. Does my hon. Friend agree that it is the responsibility of us all to reduce our plastic waste output?

Hear, hear—I agree absolutely and thank my hon. Friend for highlighting the excellent work of Amy and Ella Meek and their Kids Against Plastic charity. I wish my hon. Friend well on the panel this afternoon and congratulate them and others who are taking action against plastic and raising awareness in schools. It is the responsibility of us all to reduce, repair, reuse and recycle. We must get on with reducing plastic waste.