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

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:17 pm on 12th November 2018.

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Photo of John McNally John McNally Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment) 5:17 pm, 12th November 2018

Again, the hon. Gentleman makes good points. I assure him that we on the Environmental Audit Committee were warned about becoming the dirty man of Europe once again, and I hope that we will be given a reassurance today that we will not go down that path. I share the hon. Gentleman’s anxieties. We are at a pivotal moment when we can change these things, and the world is with us—probably through the work of the great Mr Attenborough, who has beautifully highlighted all the problems. I ask the Minister to reassure us that all retailers, rather than just a select few, will be charged accordingly, as happens in all the other home nations.

In 2017, the Scottish Government launched an initiative to develop a fit-for-purpose deposit return scheme to tackle everyday waste problems, such as single-use plastic and single-use items that are disposed of. I praise the UK Government for attending the summit in London in July this year, organised by the Scottish Government, to discuss how the home nations can co-operate to develop deposit return schemes that are fit for purpose, and nudge everyone into better habits when disposing of plastic and single-use items.