Plastic Waste

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:30 pm on 8th September 2021.

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Photo of Elliot Colburn Elliot Colburn Conservative, Carshalton and Wallington 4:30 pm, 8th September 2021

The 95% cut figure is proof of the success of the plastic bag tax. It has obviously worked, so I urge the Minister to do as my hon. Friend suggests.

I have a strange sense of déjà vu here. Tulip Siddiq mentioned my time as a councillor. Indeed, this was the first topic I ever spoke about as a councillor, when we were discussing it during a full council motion almost three years ago. The point I made then still stands: without buy-in from people at large, with all of us playing our part, lasting change will be difficult. Those survey responses from members of the public point to some really important things that need to be done, particularly on education and ensuring that transitions and changes are as simple possible for people to make. Later this year, I hope to do my part in that by hosting a local event to coincide with COP26, during which I hope to have a session on the changes we can make right here, right now to reduce the amount of plastic waste that we contribute.

The central message I will leave behind is the need to look at the circular economy and always keep one eye fixed sharply on the top of that waste hierarchy. If that is done right, we can bring businesses and individuals along with us—not as some kind of burden or punitive measure, but as a positive contribution to our environment, to the world that we live in, and to the creatures with which we share it.