I played a small part in that SCAN Plastic Free July campaign by helping to put together the personal blogs of some SCAN supporters, who shared their experiences of cutting out single-use plastics. As one of the contributors I was already somewhat aware of the issues around the huge amounts of unnecessary plastic waste that we generate, and learnt a lot more as a result of being involved.
The Green Party have always been at the forefront of the fight against pollution of all sorts, and Caroline Lucas was one of the supporters of the Bill when it was presented to Parliament in February. Given all that, I have absolutely no hesitation in supporting the aims of the Bill. The Bill is well-balanced, with the separate targets for the elimination of single-use and other plastics, and a distinction for “essential” plastics (e.g. medical purposes where no alternative currently exists). I would also like to ensure that such measures are applied not only to new plastics but also to the historical waste that is currently sitting in landfill or floating in our seas. And to “progressively” I’d add “urgently and proactively”… this cannot be something that we spend years pondering over then waiting for industry and commerce to slowly roll-out the required changes.
On fracking, we are the only party that have consistently been opposed to it. We should be keeping known fossil fuel deposits in the ground, not searching for new deposits or exploring new ways to extract them. We are also the only party proposing to end subsidies for fossil fuels. It’s obscene that the UK Government is actively encouraging these planet-killing technologies despite its supposed commitments to decarbonise the economy and the imminent dangers that we face with the climate crisis. On a wider point, it is only the Green Party that have recognised that climate crisis as *the* number one issue facing us today, and the only party to have put forward plans that come near to tackling it.
This letter is in response to a letter that we sent to all of Swindon’s parliamentary candidates for the 2019 general election. See this post for details.