Plastic Waste

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:18 pm on 8th September 2021.

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Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 5:18 pm, 8th September 2021

Thank you, Ms Rees. It is a pleasure to have you in the Chair. I am really pleased to be in this very important debate in Westminster Hall. As colleagues know, I take the whole issue of plastics very seriously indeed. I thank my hon. Friend Elliot Colburn for bringing the issue to us. Clearly, there is an awful lot of synergy in the room on the issue, as there is from the public. I get a lot of letters from schools, as we all do. It is good that there is so much interest in this agenda, which we take very seriously in Government.

My hon. Friend mentioned that the issue is not just about what we do with waste at the end; it is about not producing it in the first place, and I will touch on that. That is why we have a lot of targets. We have already set targets to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill to 10% by 2035, and an overall target of zero avoidable plastic waste of any kind by 2042—a point touched on by Geraint Davies. That does not mean that we will wait until then; we have a raft of measures in place to tackle the issue long before that. The Government are moving on the issue, which I am sure hon. Friends and hon. Members will understand, because we are moving towards a recyclable, reusable, compostable era, with all plastic[This section has been corrected on 13 September 2021, column 6MC — read correction] waste hopefully being of that nature by 2025. We are committed to transitioning to a circular economy.