Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Newspaper column 23 May 2018 - Progress with plastics

Last week saw some more excellent progress in the campaigns I have supported that seek to cut down on the use of single-use plastics in our society today.

Firstly on Monday I was delighted to welcome the inspirational Rob and his daughter Emily Stevenson to discuss the work they have been doing with the Beach Guardian Initiative, which has done so much both locally in Cornwall and nationally to raise awareness of and fight against the single use plastic menace that troubles our seas and beaches.

I have previously met Rob in St Austell and it was good to catch up in Parliament both to see how their work has come on since we last met, but also so that other MPs can see what they have done and continue to show that Cornwall leads the way when it comes to looking after our environment and living sustainably.

Following this, on Tuesday we had some great news on the success of the Plastic Free Parliament campaign, as the House of Commons confirmed it will be cracking down on single use plastics.
Sir Paul Beresford, Chair of the Administration Select Committee, announced that over the next twelve months, the House of Commons will:

End sales of water in plastic bottles; introduce a 25p additional cost for using single use coffee cups; incentivise use of reusable cups through additional loyalty rewards; start selling reusable cups to encourage behaviour change; introduce fixed condiment dispensers to replace plastic sachets; replace disposable catering items that are currently plastic with compostable; replace plastic cups with compostable ones; replace plastic bags with paper ones, as well as a raft of other measures designed to help Parliament operate more sustainably.

This is excellent news and a brilliant result to the positive campaign that is the result of many people and organisations working together. I am pleased to have particularly worked with Surfers Against Sewage and Sky Ocean Rescue to achieve this great progress in just months.

The changes announced show that real change can be achieved through grassroots movements. I am delighted that Sir Paul recognised the role played by Surfers Against Sewage and by extension the work so many in Cornwall are playing in driving the change we need to look after our environment and live more sustainably.

I have been pleased to take part in a number of litter picks and beach cleans in Mid-Cornwall and it has been great to see our communities recognise there is a need to do something about the rubbish, much of it single-use plastics that litters our highways and byways. Thanks to everyone who has been out and continues to go out on these events – setting a really positive example for the rest of us to follow.

I will continue working on both local and national campaigns to lead the fight against plastics waste polluting our seas.

My team and I are here to serve the whole constituency and work hard to make a real difference to the lives of everyone needing support. The office is open to the public Monday – Friday 10.00am – 4.00pm (no appointment necessary). If there is an issue you would like my assistance on then please, either visit the office or contact me on either 01726 829379 or Additionally, I hold regular, appointment only, advice surgeries across the constituency. Dates of these can be found at: