The Environment

In the UK, Daventry and its surrounding area, there are many areas of outstanding natural beauty to be enjoyed and handed down safely to future generations.

In line with the Government’s 25 year plan, I have been working on a number of policies to improve our local environment.

I have always been concerned about the efficiency of our waste collection service, and how it affects our local environment.

Therefore, in September 2018, I rose the concerns of many constituents to Daventry Norse in regards to running the refuse collection system in my constituency.  This was a significant problem in 2018, as I had been contacted by more constituents concerned about waste collection in the last year than I had been in my previous 8 years as the Member of Parliament for Daventry.

Read the full response here - https://www.heatonharris.com/news/issues-waste-collection-and-around-daventr

Towards the end of October 2018, I had received many letters from constituents about the environment as a whole and more specifically, the way Walkers Crisps recycle their empty packets.

With this in mind, I wrote to the owners of Walkers, PepsiCo and received a response from Ms Lucy Gilchrist, Head of External Affairs, PepsiCo UK and ROI.

 “Further to your recent inquiry regarding Walkers crisps and recycling, I thought you might like to know that today we’re making a major new commitment on recycling.

Later this year Walkers will be launching the UK’s first nationwide recycling programme for crisp packets:

People will be encouraged to either drop off their packets at one of the hundreds of public access collection points that will be developed all around the country or alternatively post them for free directly to TerraCycle for recycling.

Once the packets have been collected, they will be cleaned, shredded and turned into small plastic pellets which will then be converted into useful plastic materials, such as benches and fence posts.”

I was very pleased to hear of this new scheme launched by Walkers, as I am sure you will agree that this will help improve our ecosystem and the environment as a whole. It is the small changes that individuals make in life that will help to reduce both plastic pollution and pollution as a whole.

Furthermore, as part of the Government I stand to protect the national environment as well as our local environment.

In national environment strategy, announced on the 12th June 2019, was the government’s legislated aim to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This makes the UK the first major economy in the world to do so. Carbon emissions have already been reduced a quarter since 2010 and this will continue to decrease, in order to provide a sustainable and greener future for the next generation. Investment into cleaner energy sources to achieve this target will lead to an estimated two million high quality jobs created by 2030. To read more about this new strategy, visit my news page (link).

Another way the government is committed to making the future more sustainable is by reducing food waste. Food waste is a large contributor to climate change, as wasted food when degraded in landfill produces the greenhouse gas, methane. Also, it is inextricably linked to plastic waste from food packaging. In the UK, an estimated 10.2 million tonnes of food and drink is wasted each year, which is worth around £20 billion. To reduce this shocking amount, all major supermarkets have signed our ambitious pledge to “step up to the plate” and halve food waste by 2030.

I firmly believe in protecting both the UK's vibrant ecosystem and the natural environment worldwide. Environmental and economic progress are not just compatible: they depend on each other. The Government is committed to being the UK's greenest ever, and has established a 25-Year Plan to Improve the Environment to help achieve this goal.

I was delighted to see that between 2010 and 2015 Ministers provided £7.5 million to establish 12 Nature Improvement Areas, created 150,000 acres of priority habitats and planted over 11 million trees; they are now committed to planting 11 million more. The National Pollinator Strategy will improve our understanding of the abundance, diversity and role of pollinators, and identify any additional actions needed to protect them.

Fifty Marine Conservation Zones have been created to help protect our rich marine life, joining the UK's over 500 existing marine protected areas, and a further 41 have since been announced. A new UK Blue Belt of protected sites is now being created in British waters and around the UK's 14 Overseas Territories where there is local support and environmental need.

Without urgent action to cut demand, it is estimated 34 billion tonnes of plastic will have been manufactured globally by 2050. I was pleased that the new 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment commits the Government to working to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste, with action at each stage of the product lifecycle: production, consumption and end of life.

Producer responsibility systems including packaging waste regulations will be reformed, which may result in extending these requirements to more products. I also welcome the Chancellor's announcement in the 2018 Budget of a consultation on plans to introduce a new tax on the manufacture or import of plastic packaging composed of less than 30 per cent recycled material, which could revolutionise the market for recycled products.

The decision to leave the European Union has created an historic opportunity to review our environmental policies. Outside the EU we can develop global gold standard environmental policies, not just to halt or slow environmental deterioration, but to raise our ambitions, restoring nature and reversing decline. We can, and I believe we will, be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it.

This belief is reinforced by a new legislated aim (12th June 2019) for the UK to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This makes the UK the first major economy in the world to have such an ambitious and proactive target. Carbon emissions have already been reduced a quarter since 2010 and this will continue to decrease to provide a sustainable and greener future for the next generation. Investment into cleaner energy sources to achieve this target will lead to an estimated two million high quality jobs created by 2030. To read more about this new strategy, visit my news page https://www.heatonharris.com/news/net-zero-ending-uks-contribution-glob…

Another way the government is committed to making the future more sustainable is by reducing food waste. Food waste is a large contributor to climate change, as wasted food degrading in landfill produces the greenhouse gas methane. Also, it is inextricably linked to plastic waste and pollution from food packaging. In the UK, an estimated 10.2 million tonnes of food and drink is wasted each year, which is worth around £20 billion. To reduce this shocking amount, all major supermarkets have signed our ambitious pledge to “step up to the plate” and halve their food waste by 2030.

I have always been passionate about the environment, and will continue to be an advocate for environmental issues as long as I am your local representative. It is great to see such strides made in this area at a national government level, especially as so many young people in the constituency have campaigned in the Youth Strikes for Climate, it is only right that as the leaders of the industrial revolution, we lead the a new green revolution to a brighter and cleaner future.