Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan has joined fellow Conservatives in pledging to reduce their use of harmful single-use plastics for Lent.
A group of MPs have agreed to take part in different challenges to cut down on plastics during the 40 days in the run up to Easter in order to raise awareness about the difficulties consumers face in going plastic free in everyday life.
Anne-Marie said: “I’m going to do my best to give up single-use plastics for Lent, but I don’t pretend it’s going to be easy.
"For me this is about raising awareness of the everyday choices we face when buying products that contain harmful plastics – and how we can change our own habits to tackle this growing environmental problem.”
The 41 Conservative MPs include the Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, the Business Secretary, Greg Clark, two former environment secretaries and 11 other government ministers.
Pledges include cutting down on the use of plastic water bottles, using refillable coffee cups, avoiding using plastic cutlery, and buying loose fruit and vegetables free from plastic packaging.
The campaign launches after the Government unveiled its 25 year plan for improving the environment last month, outlining the ways in which government will work with communities and businesses to leave the environment in a better state for future generations.
At the launch, the Prime Minister spoke of one of the great environmental scourges of our time, as single-use plastics can end up being ingested by dozens of species of marine wildlife and polluting our rivers, seas and oceans. 1 million birds, and over 100,000 other sea mammals and turtles die every year from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste.
The group will be sharing their experiences using social media using the campaign slogan #GiveUpPlasticForLent
After the 40 day challenge, MPs will be inviting plastics manufacturers and businesses to a round table to discuss their experiences and see if more can be done to reduce our reliance on plastic.
Launching the campaign, Vicky Ford MP for Chelmsford said: “It’s great that so many colleagues are taking part in the Give Up Plastic for Lent challenge. If each of us does a small bit to cut down on our single-use plastic then together we can help make a real difference, and become more informed about the plastics debate.”
Zac Goldsmith MP for Richmond Park & North Kingston said: “We have treated the world’s oceans as a rubbish dump for years and the effects on the natural world have been grotesque. Millions of us have seen Blue Planet and even if we didn’t know about the problem before, we do now.
“But we still continue to dump 12 million tonnes of plastic into the oceans every year. There is one floating plastic island in the Pacific that is larger than France.
“We all have a role to play, and I am writing to all my local restaurants, bars, cafes and supermarkets to ask them to do their bit to wean our community off plastic. Our first goal locally is to get rid of plastic straws, stirrers, unrecyclable cups.”