Environmental Protection

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:55 pm on 15th June 2020.

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Photo of Lloyd Russell-Moyle Lloyd Russell-Moyle Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 6:55 pm, 15th June 2020

It is. Actually, I was on a phone call with Mark Pawsey earlier today, and many of the producers were saying they welcomed and wanted to move towards that sort of scheme, which I was very pleased to hear.

As I have said, we are creating and destroying at alarming rates, but we must design a more circular economy. Where are the Government on the right to repair? That is another issue now being talked about globally—the right to have items repaired, rather than throw them away, whether they be electrical or composite plastic items. The Government are also a signatory to the sustainable development goals, No. 12 being the implementation of a 10-year framework for programmes for sustainable consumption and production. It says that developed countries must take the lead, so what lead has DEFRA made on changing production patterns, rather than just these particular regulations? I contend that simply banning plastics, although a welcome step, is not enough in creating sustainable production patterns, as agreed under our international obligations.

I would like to ask the Minister some specific questions about the regulations’ implementation. What guidelines will be given to local authorities on the enforcement of these regulations? What resources will be given to local authorities to ensure that they are enforced? Will there be annual reporting on the compliance visits, on the problems found and on the responses to complaints from the public about unlawful retailing of straws and other plastic products? Finally, when will the Government bring forward their plan for extended producer responsibility, rather than piecemeal SIs?

As we face a climate and ecological crisis, we must stop making piecemeal changes. We must have some hard conversations about changing corporate and consumer behaviour. Our short-term convenience must not come at the cost of our planet and future generations.