ALAN MAK: Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan is an important step forward

Havant MP Alan Mak plants a tree at the Hampshire Farm Meadows near Emsworth
Havant MP Alan Mak plants a tree at the Hampshire Farm Meadows near Emsworth

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The Havant MP on the borough’s green future

Last week the government announced its 25 Year Environment Plan, an ambitious strategy to leave our environment in a better state for future generations.

The plan for a cleaner, greener Britain includes a pledge to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042.

To help achieve this, the 5p carrier bag charge, which has led to nine billion fewer plastic bags being used, will be extended to all retailers in England.

However, for the plan to succeed, we need to encourage everyone to use greener alternatives, as well as getting the big supermarkets to cut down on the amount of plastic they use.

Ideas set out in the Environment Plan include plastic-free aisles in which all the food is loose and a possible new tax system to further reduce the amount of waste we create.

The environment secretary Michael Gove came to Hayling Island last year, where he spoke to sustainable fishing business Fresh From the Boat.

From that visit it was clear that he is committed to protecting our marine environment, and the government plan also includes new marine conservation zones, a network of areas in English seas designed to protect species from overfishing and other threats.

The environment minister Therese Coffey also visited Hayling last week to see the good work we are doing locally on coastal protection

Locally, I’ve been committed to delivering our manifesto pledge to plant 11 million new trees, becoming a tree warden at the Hampshire Farm Meadows near Emsworth.

The beauty spot has become popular with dog walkers and runners, providing a great community outdoor space. But importantly it is also helping cut pollution through carbon capture.

Like many readers, I watched Blue Planet II, a programme that highlighted the damage that is being done to our planet.

Yet I believe our new Environment Plan takes an important step forward and gives commitments for the long-term future and sustainability of our wildlife and our marine environment, so we leave our community, country and world in a better state for future generations.

Don’t forget, my third Havant Jobs, Apprenticeships and Careers Fair is taking place on Friday, March 9 from 10am to 3pm visit alanmak.org.uk/jobsfair2018 for more information.