Non-recyclable and Non-compostable Packaging — [Mr Peter Bone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:42 pm on 23rd January 2017.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield 4:42 pm, 23rd January 2017

I was not going to speak, but I am a passionate parliamentarian; if I may say so, Mr Bone, you and I both are pretty passionate in the Chamber. You know that I have been a long-time supporter of recycling, reuse and remanufacture. It is important to get the Opposition on the record as being absolutely positive about what we are discussing today.

I have been an honorary fellow of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management for some years. I also chair Policy Connect, where we have a very special focus on the reuse of resources. For many years, I chaired a charity called Urban Mines. Everyone who worked for it was an urban miner: what people used to regard as rubbish flowing from our towns and cities was seen as a new resource that could be mined, rather than digging holes in the earth’s crust and taking virgin material. I have a long history on this issue.

I am passionate about the misuse of our planet’s resources. Not only do we misuse the stuff that we use in packaging, but, as David Mackintosh said in an excellent speech, we then pollute our urban and rural environment and kill animals. We kill hedgehogs and badgers and all sorts of rare breeds by our misuse and by casting plastic and metal and all sorts of packaging on to our countryside. Even more importantly—this was brought out beautifully in the hon. Gentleman’s speech—we are now polluting our marine environment to such an extent that our grandchildren will probably live to see the end of fish as a regular part of our diet. That is the truth. How dreadful!