Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay yesterday led a debate in Parliament on plastic free packaging for fruit and vegetables.
In his capacity of member of the Parliamentary Petitions Committee, Steve led the debate following an e-petition on the subject that attracted over 120,000 signatures.
Speaking in the debate, Steve raised issues on the sheer amount of plastic waste that ends up in our seas – there are now around 5 trillion macro and micro plastic pieces floating in our oceans, with a weight of over 250,000 tonnes, and the part we all must play in reducing our use of plastics, while tampering this with the need to not inadvertently increase food wastage in the process of doing so.
Steve spoke about the importance of all parts of our society, consumers, producers, retailers and the Government playing a role in taking these steps, as well as the importance of engaging with young people, who will be tackling this in the future.
Following the response from DEFRA Minister Therese Coffey MP, Steve said:
“I am sure this is an issue that we will keep coming back to—it is clearly something that many people care deeply about… There is an increasing awareness of the impact on our environment of the amount of plastic that we use and discard.”
“I very much welcome the Minister’s response, which clearly showed that the Government are grasping this issue. As has been said, it needs to be done in balance, particularly when it comes to food packaging: we need to balance environmental concerns with the benefits that plastic offers for preserving food and extending its shelf life.”
“..I am sure that, as we continue to engage with the public and the industry and to take a lead as Parliament, we will continue to reduce the amount of plastic waste that we produce, which can only be a good thing.”
To read the whole debate, see: