Thank you for contacting me about the global plastics crisis.
I recognise that our recycling system is overwhelmed by plastic waste and that waste from the UK is now overwhelming recycling systems in other countries, which is not acceptable.
In the Labour Party, we recognise the scale of this problem. In our 2019 general election manifesto, we pledged to invest in a new plastics remanufacturing industry, which would create thousands of jobs and end exports of plastic waste. We would also make producers responsible for the waste that they create.
As I’m sure you know, conservationist Chris Packham urged the government to use the G7 to tackle the global plastics crisis at the end of last month, in an open letter organised by A Plastic Planet. He said that the time for talking is over and now governments across the world, including in the UK, must act to sort out this global problem.
As requested, I have written a letter to the Environment Secretary, George Eustice, which you can read here.
In my letter, I have asked the Environment Secretary to set out how his Department is going to tackle the plastics crisis in the UK. I have also asked him to relay any discussions that the Prime Minister had with G7 leaders in Cornwall earlier this month about plastic pollution on a global scale, if he indeed engaged in any such discussions at all.
I will be back in touch with you once I have received a response.
Thank you again for your email. If there are any more important issues you would like to raise with me, please do not hesitate to get back in touch.
The Rt Hon. Emily Thornberry MP
Islington South and Finsbury
Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade