A Sheffield MP is backing a call from city-based environment groups for the government to reduce plastic pollution.
Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, has spoken out to back a Plastic Pollution Action Plan which has been backed by legislation to protect wildlife and human health.
She met with Charlotte Hutton, a member of the Sheffield-based Plastic Free Project Facebook group, and Richard Souter, of Sheffield Friends of the Earth, to hear their concerns about environmental damage caused by plastic, and supported their call for government action.
Louise Haigh said everyone can help the environment by reducing the plastic they use, but said bigger action needs to be taken.
She said: “Everyone can help tackle the plastics crisis by making changes in their own lives. But to really make a difference the government must take action to stop the flow of plastic to our oceans.”
Charlotte told Ms Haigh that residents had been enthusiastic about supporting their campaign for plastic free shopping, but said more could be done to reduce the quantity of plastic we use.
Ms Haigh is backing the groups’ call for the government to put a plan in place to tackle plastic pollution which is backed up by new laws.
The action plan calls for a phase out of plastic pollution over 25 years, starting now.
It also calls for work to start immediately on how to reduce pollution from hard-to-replace plastics tyres, clothing and paint.
Louise Haigh added: “The government must adopt a Plastic Pollution Action Plan which is backed up by legislation, which aims for near zero plastic pollution by 2042.”
The call comes as data reveals that up to 12 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the sea each year, a weight which is not far off the weight of a million London buses. Sea creatures can also be injured y plastic.
Richard Souter thanked the MP for her support, but said that more needed to be done to sort out the problem.
He said: “It’s great that Louise Haigh MP is supporting a Plastic Pollution Action Plan. Lots of people in the community are trying to reduce the amount of plastic they use, which is brilliant, but ultimately the plastic pollution crisis must be solved by government action.
“That’s why we’re campaigning for the government to introduce legislation to stop companies using non-essential plastic.”