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

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:30 pm on 12th November 2018.

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Photo of Sandy Martin Sandy Martin Shadow Minister (Waste and Recycling) 5:30 pm, 12th November 2018

I do not believe that tomatoes need that level of protection. If one treats them carefully, as I always do when I am in a supermarket, I put them into a bag, and there is no way that a paper bag would provide less protection than a plastic bag. However, the paper bag is compostable and the plastic bag is not.

We need the forthcoming environment Bill, promised by the Prime Minister in July this year, to contain clear actions for dealing with plastics based on comprehensive knowledge of current problems and science-based understanding of the impacts. We are waiting to hear what the Government propose to do to ensure that the environment Bill contains effective measures to combat plastics pollution.

Too often we have seen half-hearted and piecemeal gimmicks from the Government. What is needed is wholesale, systemic change. In the meantime, I urge the Minister to take the petition seriously and to consider whether a mandatory requirement for fresh fruit and vegetables to be made available without plastic packaging would be desirable and possible.