Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the Environment Secretary's pledge for action to reduce plastic waste choking our oceans as he set out his ambition for the UK to lead the world in environmental protection.

Around eight million tonnes of plastic makes its way into oceans each year, posing a serious threat to our natural and marine environment – experts estimate plastic is ingested by 31 species of marine mammals and over 100 species of sea birds.

Since its introduction, the 5p plastic bag charge has reduced use by over nine billion bags – enough to wrap around the world more than 100 times. Money raised from the charge has generated £95 million for good causes.

Further plans to prevent other sources of plastic finding their way into our oceans and seas were announced during a speech entitled 'Delivering a Green Brexit'. Mr Gove confirmed legislation will be introduced this year to ban the sale and manufacture of microbeads – tiny pieces of plastic that are easily swallowed by marine life – in cosmetics and personal care products such as toothpastes and shower gels.

Commenting Caroline said:

"I am glad that a renewed strategy on waste and resources that looks ahead to opportunities outside the EU is being devised.

Many constituents have contacted me about plastic pollutants in the ocean so I am pleased that the Government will be taking robust action to reduce plastic waste."

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