Plastics: Beaches

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 9th February 2018.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Labour/Co-operative, Leeds North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to reduce plastic pollution on beaches.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Studies have shown that the majority of waste plastic on beaches is made up of fragmented pieces which have been in the sea for a long time and broken down. Some of the plastic on English beaches will come from non-UK sources.

The Environment Agency (EA) will work with Water Companies to improve collection of plastic in the sewerage network. The EA also works with local councils and other bodies to reduce fly tipping, including in coastal areas.

I also refer the honourable Member to the reply previously given on 23 January 2018, PQ 123722, with respect to the EA’s recent announcement of £750,000 for a new, dedicated team to tackle plastics pollution in the South West of England. As part of the work of this new team the EA will encourage partnerships with groups for beach cleaning.

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