03 Aug 2020
We hope that you and your families are well and keeping safe. Whilst 2020 has presented its unique challenges and it might not be what we expected it to be, we can continue to work for a greener world and celebrate the achievements along the way. Here’s a short update on what we have been up to recently.
Environment Bill update
The Bill has been in suspended animation since The Bill Committee was told to down tools when parliament went into lockdown in March. It is unlikely that the Committee resumes work before parliament breaks for summer recess, so we're probably looking to September at the earliest for the Bill to resume its passage through the Commons. It will then take at least another couple of months before the Bill becomes an Act, at which point we’re into the ‘Secondary Legislation’ phase where the Secretary of State will decide on specific targets.
It’s frustrating that things are so delayed, but the silver lining is that this gives us more time to pressure MPs to tell the government to commit to effective and robust plastic pollution and waste targets. It also gives us more time to rally support for our campaign, for example by getting local businesses to sign on to letters to MPs and the media.
Update from our partners
We’ve been working really closely with The Women’s Institute, Keep Britain Tidy, Greenpeace and Surfers Against Sewage to coordinate our campaign for plastic pollution and waste targets in the Environment Bill. They’re all backing calls for the Environment Bill to incorporate the principles laid out in our Plastic Pollution Bill as well as doing great work locally and nationally to reduce plastic pollution.
Please do consider reaching out to these organisations' local groups as we aim to collaborate locally as well as nationally to press MPs and other decision-makers to do the right thing. Joint letters (see last month’s update for more info) could be really powerful. Watch this space for more in due course.
Growing plastic waste
Upset about the growing plastic and other waste mountains spoitling beaches, parks and other precious spaces?
So are we, and all the more so because the plastics lobby is exploiting the virus to push back against bans and restrictions on single-use plastics. Health and well-being is absolutely the priority – let’s just make sure we take care of the planet’s health at the same time.
We’re particularly inspired by the great work our friends at City to Sea are doing to encourage government, businesses and the public to continue safely to use reusables. Please check it out and spread the word.
As well as campaigning, we can all do our part in reducing the plastic in our everyday lives. Check out our tips to reduce plastic in your home.
Filmmaker Julian Hanford has just produced Plastic Song, a documentary featuring British contemporary artist Steve McPherson who, for the last 25 years, has been picking up pieces of plastic from the beaches of his home town in Margate, Kent and turning them into extraordinary and complex artworks.
The film premiered on YouTube on 22 July. Spread the word and consider organising an online screening for your community, we’re sure it'll spark a great conversation.
Our next quarterly webinar will be in October. We'll let you know how you can register very soon.
And in the meantime, you can always keep in touch in our campaign Facebook group.