25 years before we stop putting ‘avoidable’ plastic waste into our Oceans?

The Government made a ban on plastics the centrepiece of its 25 year Environment Plan, but leaked documents have since shown it is lobbying against the 65% recycling target for urban waste by 2035 which the EU is proposing. The 25 year plan aims for “zero avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042″, which is just too little, too late.
If plastic is avoidable, then we should be avoiding it as soon as feasibly possible. Our seas are already choking on plastic – we can’t keep going on like this for another 24 years.

Continue reading “25 years before we stop putting ‘avoidable’ plastic waste into our Oceans?”

New year will start with a recycling crisis

Here in the UK we have an emerging problem with plastic. Huge amounts of plastic waste, supposedly due for recycling, could end up in UK incinerators in 2018 as China imposes restrictions on the type of recyclable materials it is willing to import. Greenpeace estimates that 2.7m tonnes of plastic waste has been shipped from the UK to China between 2012 and 2016. Yet despite warnings from the industry, our government has done nothing to build up the capacity to recycle plastics in this country.

Continue reading “New year will start with a recycling crisis”

Questions raised with Gove about Red Tractor pig farms

I’ve written to the Environment Minister, Michael Gove, about alleged failures of the Red Tractor farms to guarantee minimum standards of animal welfare. An investigation carried out by the organisation Animal Equality exposed serious welfare problems on four British Red Tractor pig farms and includes video footage. Continue reading “Questions raised with Gove about Red Tractor pig farms”

Social justice is as important between generations, as it is within generations

The NUS plays a pivotal role in promoting an understanding of the links between the environment and social justice in this country. So it was a great pleasure to speak at their ‘Green Impact’ Parliamentary reception, which celebrates the way that sustainability has become part of the core business of what the NUS does locally and nationally.

A sense of community links all the anti-fracking campaigns

The common bond between all the towns and villages under threat of fracking in England is their powerful sense of identity and community through the campaigns. Fracking is an imposition, an invasion by big government and corporate power. To represent this common bond, the threatened communities have banded together to produce a Commonweal wheel. It’s inspired by Parliamentary ideas from the Civil War period that power should be invested as close to the people as possible to manage the environment suitably for their sustenance, overriding the interests of the crown and royal decree. Continue reading “A sense of community links all the anti-fracking campaigns”

Sentient creatures and Brexit

The Commons came within 18 votes of passing a Caroline Lucas amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which would have included protection of sentient creatures. Early next year I shall put this same amendment to the Lords. It is an existing EU principle and one of many principles underpinning EU law and regulation that have been rejected as amendments by the government.

Continue reading “Sentient creatures and Brexit”

Pesticides in our food, our soil and our countryside

I asked the Government what steps they are taking to protect rural communities from pesticides and whether they intend to adopt non-chemical farming methods post-Brexit. It is almost inevitable that my question achieves little more than raising a neglected issue on behalf of neglected communities. However, it does allow other peers to join in with their own set of constituent concerns or issues. Continue reading “Pesticides in our food, our soil and our countryside”