Green MEP: Long-delayed 25 Year Environment Plan scant on detail – except for extension of EU plastic bag charge

Responding to the launch of Government’s long-delayed 25 Year Environment Plan and the extension of the plastic carrier bag charge in England, Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East and a member of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, said:

“In her speech today, Theresa May rightly identified the scourge of plastic pollution as one of the most urgent problems facing Britain and the planet. Sadly, however, the announcement of the 25 Year Environmental Plan provided scant detail of any policies the Government hopes to implement to actually tackle the issue. The Prime Minister also completely failed to acknowledge that to have any hope of winning the fight against a plastic pollution problem that has no respect for borders, it is essential Britain works closely and collaboratively with its neighbours.”

“One of the few policies the Prime Minister did announce is the welcome extension of a hugely successful bag charge which has eliminated 85% of plastic carrier use in Britain. What Theresa May kept quiet, though, is the fact that the Tories were obliged to bring the charge in to fulfil an EU directive on plastic pollution that was designed by the Greens in the European Parliament.” 

“Looking at the environmental challenges facing Britain in the next 25 years, it is important to remember that, for all of the UK Government’s greenwashing efforts, Brexit could sabotage a whole body of positive and vital EU environmental protections. In fact, the Withdrawal Bill, designed to ensure EU laws still function in Britain post-Brexit, is so inadequate and so dangerously anti-democratic the UN has been moved to warn the UK Government that the bill may be in breach of international environmental law.”