On 7th May 2019 Lord Dubs asked the Government “what their latest proposals are to reduce the use of plastics.”. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith and the Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked follow up questions:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, many consumers are now choosing to use biodegradable bags rather than plastic ones, believing these to be preferable, yet researchers from the University of Plymouth have shown that many of these bags are not in fact biodegradable. Will Her Majesty’s Government undertake to produce clear standards and guidelines so we can be sure that these are biodegradable and improve the environment, and that we are not misled?
Lord Gardiner of Kimble: My Lords, it is absolutely essential for us all that, in seeking to do the right thing, we are in a position to do so. In response to the noble Lord, Lord Dubs, Morrisons are replacing plastic bags for loose fruit and vegetables with paper ones. That sort of thing is happening up and down the country with retailers that understand their responsibility to ensure that we have a better planet for the next generations.
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I bring the Minister back to the question asked by the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of St Albans about what government intervention might be appropriate in quality control and establishing standards of practice.
Lord Gardiner of Kimble: My Lords, it is clear that the Government recognise the need for consistency on what we are in a position to recycle and to ensure proper marking so we know what can be recycled. The Government must and will take responsibility in these areas.