I am incredibly proud of the UK’s strong track record on climate change and the environment.
We cut carbon emissions by 48 per cent between 1990 and 2021 – decarbonising faster than any other G7 country – and we constantly play a leading role internationally.
From being the first major economy to pass a law to achieve net zero, to COP26 in Glasgow where 90 per cent of the world’s economy committed to net zero emissions, and the UN Nature Summit in December last year where a new global deal for nature was struck, we are among the most progressive on the issue.
And in every survey I have conducted in Surrey, protecting our local environment and tackling climate change constantly rank among respondents’ top priorities.
I therefore launched my Green Spaces campaign last year to ensure we are also keeping up locally, and you can read more about it on my website.
One of the priorities of the campaign is reducing single-use plastics. In recent years we have seen a huge decrease – with single-use carrier bags being reduced in main supermarkets by more than 98 per cent and bans on items such as plastic straws.
Indeed, the government has already committed to working towards all plastic packaging placed on the market being recyclable or reusable by 2025.
Earlier this year I also wrote to the CEOs of every supermarket in the constituency to ask about ongoing work that is making sure recycling can happen easily in-store.
However, I still think Surrey can go even further – and I know it is something so many people locally care deeply about.
I am therefore launching a local Plastic-Free Pledge, inviting individuals and businesses to commit to using less single-use plastic in our everyday lives.
From decreasing the use of plastic water bottles and coffee cups, to cutting down on plastic waste around the house, there is so much that can – and I know is being – done.
I really want to understand more about the sorts of plastics that people are cutting down on and how they are doing it, and I am hoping to visit local businesses and schools to hear about how they are getting on.