Bill Esterson Member of Parliament for Sefton Central
Plastic is a vital part of every day life. But our consumption of plastics has become unsustainable.
A report from The Pew Charitable Trusts calculate the amount of plastic in the ocean by 2040 will triple if major innovations in policy and behaviour do not occur.
Protecting and enhancing global biodiversity is just as essential for the future of the planet as reducing carbon emissions and reaching net-zero as soon as we can.
That is why we should all make the right decisions and ask ourselves – how will purchasing this product impact the planet I live on?
Of course, reducing plastics consumption is a matter for government and businesses as well as for consumers. The UK is preparing to host global climate change summit COP26 and we have a massive leadership role in addressing the environment and climate emergency.
The UK government is not doing enough to protect our oceans from the threat of plastic pollution or indeed our lungs from the threat of air pollution. The approval of a new coal mine in Cumbria speaks volumes for the inadequate approach being adopted towards the environment by this government.
The UK should be investing more in low-carbon and greener sources of energy like tidal power and hydrogen energy alongside reducing it’s reliance on plastic.
But I am also asking what role should consumers have in pushing the drive for a more sustainable economy?
Should consumers only support businesses who take a responsible attitude to the planet?
And should government only give contracts to businesses who act in a responsible way?
Those are questions that go far beyond World Consumer Day but are entirely consistent with it’s theme of reducing plastics pollution.