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MP praises Stroud for stance on plastic waste

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MP Siobhan Baillie has praised Stroud in parliament for “punching above its weight” in tackling plastic waste.

She told MPs that many groups in the constituency were doing good work eliminating or reducing waste and reusing plastic instead of it going to landfill.

“I am proud that Stroud is the greenest constituency in the greenest county of Gloucestershire: we are already punching above our weight,” she said during a recent Westminster Hall debate on plastic waste.

“One of our volunteer groups, Stroud District Action on Plastic, works with individuals, businesses, schools, clubs and other community organisations to reduce their plastic footprint.

“We have zero-waste and environmental shops, such as Greenshop in Bisley, Waste Not, Want Not in Berkeley, Loose in Stroud, Stroudco food hub, the Stroud Valleys Project shop and the Shiny Goodness health store and Beeswax Wraps in Nailsworth.

“One of my constituents works for an organisation called City to Sea, which is calling for the ban on plastic plates, cutlery and polystyrene cups to be considered even more swiftly than we are doing with our autumn consultation, and brought in as a matter of urgency. I support that, and I will press for it.

“I hope Stroud’s successes will spur many others on.”

Siobhan added the UK is a world leader in tackling plastic waste and she said the Government’s charge for plastic bags had led to a 95% cut in their use.

But she said an estimated 5 million tonnes of plastic was still used in the country every year, and nearly half of that was packaging with eight billion plastic drinks containers landfilled, incinerated or lost in the environment.

She added: “Littering and fly-tipping is a constant feature of correspondence, casework and the local council’s work. Children are really exercised by the issue and I regularly receive letters from schools. Our farmers have reported livestock being harmed by ingesting plastic rubbish.

“And local people want to see massive corporations such as McDonald’s and Tesco taking responsibility for the litter that flows from their stores.”

Siobhan also called for the Government’s plan for a deposit scheme to be extended to all types of drinks containers.

“The scheme is excellent, but it can and should go further with the all-in system. It would capture 23 billion drink containers a year, while the limited system would capture only about 7.4 billion,” she explained.

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