Plastic-free Packaging (Fruit and Vegetables) — [Mr David Hanson in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:03 pm on 12th November 2018.

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Photo of John Howell John Howell Conservative, Henley 5:03 pm, 12th November 2018

The hon. Gentleman asks a very valid question. Research done in schools showed that no one quite knew where vegetables came from. No one had ever seen vegetables with soil on, so no one knew that they came from the ground. Everyone thought that vegetables always came from the shop, and no one had a clue about where they came from before that. That is terrible, in terms of our relationship with food. I like to think of myself as a great foodie, and I like to have a relationship with food. Jim Shannon smiles and nods at me. He is very welcome to come and dine with me; I promise there will be no salad.

My hon. Friend the Member for St Austell and Newquay made the point that consumer must take the lead. After the initial flurry of interest that got consumers thinking, there is great fear that consumer interest may have peaked. We must ensure that that peak remains high and that interest in what is right continues. I am sure that many things can be done. Education and the role of children are vital in maintaining that interest, but we can all do a lot to set a good example. I was pleased to see the royal family taking a lead in banning single-use plastic from the palaces.

That is probably as much as I wanted to say in this excellent debate. I will certainly do all I can to encourage people not to use plastic, and I hope that my problems with the cucumber will be well and truly solved in the near future.