Soft Plastic Recycling: South Gloucestershire

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:13 pm on 27th June 2022.

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Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Conservative, Kingswood 10:13 pm, 27th June 2022

I declare my interest not only as a Member of Parliament for South Gloucestershire but as chair of the all-party parliamentary group on the environment. I thank my hon. Friend for calling this important adjournment debate on soft plastic recycling, because it is the future. We have done so much both as a Government and in local authorities on looking at how to recycle hard plastics, but my constituents in Kingswood consistently ask me why they cannot recycle plastic bags and plastic material, which make up an overwhelming proportion of our waste. It seems so futile to be throwing it into landfill. We have the opportunity for every local authority—not just South Gloucestershire —to take this forward. I really believe that we should not just have a pilot exercise. The Government must up their ambition nationally as well as by helping South Gloucestershire to achieve its ambition of becoming a net zero council by 2035 through measures such as soft plastic recycling. On the third anniversary of the Government signing up, in law, to net zero, what could be better than the Minister committing to introducing improved soft plastic recycling facilities in South Gloucestershire? Perhaps we could also tease out a commitment to additional soft plastic recycling opportunities not just in the private sector but in the public sector, and ask the Government to take a critical role, as they did with net zero three years ago. We could lead the world in recycling soft plastics. So many countries would follow our lead, as they did with net zero.