More than 100 MPs pledge to #PassOnPlastic in their constituencies
More than 100 MPs have committed to substantially reducing their consumption of single-use plastics as part of Sky Ocean Rescue’s #PassOnPlastic campaign.
Launched at an event in Parliament yesterday (6 February), the pledge saw signatories including Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Resources Minister Therese Coffey promise to lead by example in their constituencies by limiting their use of single-use plastics.
MPs on their way into Parliament to sign the pledge would have been greeted by Plasticus, a replica whale made up of a quarter of a tonne of plastic - the amount of plastic that enters the oceans every second - placed outside of Parliament by Sky Ocean Rescue to illustrate the scale of the world’s plastics problem.
Commenting on the pledge, Gove said: “Plastic has no place in our oceans, and I wholeheartedly support the work Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign has done to put this issue in the hearts and minds of the public.
“We have already introduced one of the world’s toughest bans on microbeads and removed nine billion carrier bags from circulation, and through our ambitious 25 year plan for the environment I am determined we further crack down on the scourge of plastic choking our oceans.”
Sky Ocean Rescue was launched in January 2017 as an environmental campaign that raises awareness about the consequences of ocean pollution and seeks to alter consumer behaviour in order to cut down on plastic waste.
The campaign has worked hard to with others to bring the issue of plastic waste to the forefront of the public consciousness, such as launching the world’s first boat made from recycled plastic with environmental charity Hubbub in November last year, as well as joining the Daily Mail’s calls to bring in a plastic bottle deposit return scheme (DRS) to tackle plastic litter, a consultation on which has since been launched by Gove.
Sky’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Jeremy Darroch said: "2018 is the year to turn off the single-use plastic tap. It’s great to see MPs leading by example and encouraging others to make a change for the better. The pressure is now on businesses of all sizes to take action.”
The Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP added: “I am delighted to support Sky Ocean Rescue and I welcome the move by Members of Parliament to reduce their single-use plastic consumption to protect our oceans. This is a critical environmental issue and I hope we will be able to further reduce single-use plastic waste throughout the Palace of Westminster in the future.”
Plastics have, of course, dominated the news agenda in recent months, largely down to David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II series beaming the consequences of plastic waste on the environment directly into our living rooms. Plastics feature prominently in the government’s recently released 25 Year Environment Plan, which commits the UK to zero ‘avoidable’ plastic waste by 2042 and calls for the extension of the five pence plastic bag levy to all retailers in England.