I attended a parliamentary event to support Asda’s campaign against plastic use. This was an opportunity for MPs to meet with Asda staff to hear what action the company has been doing to reduce the amount of plastic packaging used in their products and what more MPs can do to help.
At the event I was told how Asda has reduced its plastic waste by 3,100 tonnes. This has been achieved by reducing the plastic used in items such as water bottles, pizza, salad to go boxes and greetings cards.
Other businesses have been working on reducing plastic waste, with the locally based Iceland leading the way by being the first major supermarket to announce that it will be plastic free in five years.
The amount of plastics being used has reached epidemic proportions. We will all have seen the heart-breaking footage on Blue Planet 2 that demonstrated just how polluted our oceans have become because of our use of plastics and lack of recycling. It is important that we support businesses when they take the action needed to dramatically cut plastic waste.
In the Budget it was announced that a new tax will be imposed on plastics being imported and exported from the UK that do not contain at least 30% recycled material. This is a positive step forward, but what wasn’t announced in the Budget and instead was hidden away in the accompanying documents was that this won’t be in place anytime soon.
It is important that we grasp the nettle that is plastic pollution and take serious action. We cannot go on forever accepting the overuse of plastic as just part of modern life. That is why the UK Government need to become international leaders on reducing plastic usage both at home and abroad.