Government

Updated 6th December 2020

The Plastic Pollution Bill

Friends of the Earth and the Federation of Women's Institutes drew up the Plastic Pollution Bill. It would form effective legislation to:
  • End the use of non-essential single-use plastics by 2025.
  • Progressively reduce the overall use of non-essential plastic in England.
  • Prevent plastic pollution of the environment as a result of human activity as a result of human activity as far as is possible using the best practical means by 2042.
  • Progressively eliminate plastics pollution from the environment and where it is not possible to prevent or eliminate pollution, the pollution must be minimised as far as is possible using the best practicable means.
The Plastic Pollution Bill currently has the support of around 80 MPs and is due for a second reading on 29th January 2021. We wholeheartedly support the bill and have been working to get our local MPs to support it.

The Environment Bill

The Environment Bill has finished its 22nd sitting and is now at the report stage. In contrast to the Plastic Pollution Bill, it is weak and ineffectual:
  • It would provide no timetable for plastic reduction.
  • It would not progressively reduce the overall use of non-essential plastic.
  • Single-use plastics may be charged for or have a minimum price attached.
  • Plastic would be considered a recyclable waste stream even though a myriad of problems associated with such a system are known; toxicity; pollution of the land, air and water. This unsustainable system would count towards recycling figures, distorting the perceived environmental benefits of government policy.

Trade deals

Local groups are concerned that our ability to deal with plastic pollution and other ecological crises could be hindered by trade deals. These concerns are based on current actions of the UK government, recent history, and implementation in other countries. See this Swindon Climate Action Network article for further details.

General Election 2019

We wrote to candidates before the 2019 General Election asking for commitments to reduce plastic pollution. The result of that was a commitment from Robert Buckland to support the aims of the Plastic Pollution Bill and an offer from Justin Tomlinson to discuss ongoing work. Full details of the action can be found here.

Contact your MP

If we are to get the legislation that we need to end plastic pollution then it is imperative to contact our local MPs. We have created this easy action to simplify the process.