25 year environment plan

23rd Jan 2018

We were pleased to read about the Government’s commitment to improving the environment in its 25-year plan. But the Government needs to follow up its vision with actions to make sure we use resources better, from plastics to land, if its vision is to be delivered.

Belinda Gordon, Head of Government and Rural Affairs at the Campaign to Protect Rural England said: “The introduction of a 25-year Environment Plan is a fantastic commitment to long-term investment in the health, protection and enhancement of our countryside. We are delighted to see the Government taking measures to improve our National Parks, Green Belts and wider landscapes.

“However, despite the Government’s best intentions, we are concerned that the plan does not adequately address the growing development pressures on England’s countryside. England’s land is a finite resource – it is vital that we ensure we have a planning system that ensures the best use of land, while protecting our landscape and the wider natural environment. We look forward to working with the Government to make sure our planning system delivers what our communities and environment need.”

The proposed actions to reduce single-use plastics are very welcome, particularly the commitment to investigate further which economic incentives work best in reducing their use. But CPRE is keen to see the Government take action on the issue of single-use drinks containers, with a Deposit Return System (DRS) for aluminium cans, glass and plastic bottles as a solution to litter and boosting recycling rates.

Samantha Harding, Litter Programme Director at the Campaign to Protect Rural England said: “It’s positive the Government has chosen to respond to the plastic plague that is already putting our countryside, cities and oceans at risk of irreversible harm. Whilst I hope we will hear good news on deposit return systems soon, the charge on plastic bags has shown that we easily adapt to financial incentives and the prospect of further charges or taxes that could eliminate products like plastic straws and stirrers is further good news. And promoting innovation amongst producers will be critical to ensuring we eliminate unnecessary single-use items, as well as making sure that they are taking financial responsibility for the impact these products have.”

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