Government

Updated 7th June 2021

Summary

Rather than implement strong legislation to reduce plastic pollution, the UK government seek to introduce weaker measures that would enable plastic pollution to continue at high rates. The UK is the second highest producer of plastic in the world per person. This doesn't align with the government's claims to be world leaders on dealing with plastic pollution. The lack of ambition for effective legislation is highlighted by the government-funded UK FIRES' Absolute Zero report. It states that there is to be "rapid reduction in supply and use of all fossil fuels, except for plastic production" up until 2030. We are concerned that trade deals with corporate courts will limit our ability to effectively deal with plastic pollution.

Excerpt from the Absolute Zero report
Excerpt from UK FIRES' Absolute Zero report

Topics

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

Described as "draconian legislation" by Friends of the Earth and Liberty human rights organisation. There is much concern that this bill would threaten the right to peacefully protest. This could potentially affect campaigns such as ours. Read in full.

Trade deals

Our ability to deal with plastic pollution and other ecological crises could be hindered by trade deals, cemented by the use of corporate courts. Neither local MP will provide written assurances that our ability to deal with plastic pollution won't be hindered. Read full details.

Waste incineration

We are supporting Stop Keypoint Incinerator Project (SKIP) and the UK Without Incineration Network (UKWIN) in opposing waste incineration. Read full details.

Plastic packaging tax

The government are proposing a plastic packaging tax to take effect from April 2022. It would be paid for by producers of plastic packaging that consisted of less than 30% recycled plastic. Read in full.

Zero waste

A system(s) of zero waste would be ideal; implementing a structure(s) to compliment the waste hierarchy (reduce, reuse, remanufacture, repair...); moving away from plastic recycling, waste incineration and landfill; good for the health of people animals, the environment and local economies. The Deposit Return Scheme is included in this section. Read full details.

General plastic legislation

We support the Plastic Pollution Bill as it provides strong legislation and a timetable for plastic reduction. The Environment Bill instead seeks to implement measures that will slow the rate of pollution only. Read full 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.

Take action

There are currently 4 important actions; litter, incineration, trade deals, and zero waste. We have simplified these actions, providing template letters and contact details.