Below is from Alan's weekly column:
We can all do more to cut our consumption of harmful single-use plastics. Every year, 12 million tonnes of plastic waste enters the world’s oceans – that’s a rubbish truck every minute.
Meanwhile it is estimated that without action 34 billion tonnes of plastic will have manufactured globally by 2050.
That’s why I am delighted that Havant Rugby Club has taken decisive action to cut down its plastic consumption by joining forces with Final Straw Solent.
The club, of which I am a Vice President, will no longer be providing plastic straws, cups or plates and instead a number of plastic-free alternatives will be in use on match days.
This is a real step forward and represents action that can be replicated by other businesses, sports clubs and community groups from across the constituency.
In Parliament, we have been tackling this issue with the same-forward thinking approach, with reusable cups now being sold, plastic water bottles no longer sold, and a 25 pence charge added to hot drinks served in new compostable cups. I supported these changes because it shows what can be done with the right mindset of how to eliminate plastic consumption.
Nationally we will legislate for further changes and the 25-year Environment Plan commits the Government to working to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste. Meanwhile the Budget included an announcement of a consultation on plans to introduce a new tax on the manufacture or import of plastic packaging composed of less than 30 per cent recycled material – something that could revolutionise the market for recycled products.
The Government also plans to cut the demand for single-use plastics, with a further consultation on extending the plastic bag charge to small businesses.
I also support the effort to encourage more businesses to offer new, free refill points for water, and plans to work with retailers to explore introducing plastic-free supermarket aisles.
So while we take action in Westminster to cut our dependence to plastic, it is really action locally on the frontline that makes the biggest difference. Therefore I commend the Havant Rugby Club’s commitment to go plastic free and hope that it sets an example that can be followed by many others.
Picture: Alan Mak MP is a supporter of the Sky Ocean Rescue #PassOnPlastic campaign