Throughout Lent, Rachael Maskell MP for York Central refrained from purchasing anything wrapped in or made of plastic for 40 days and 40 nights as part of a Lent challenge set by Tearfund. Over the course of this period, Ms Maskell had to make different choices, and learn the extent of plastic use across the economy. She will raise her experience in Parliament next Tuesday as she speaks in the debate on ‘Plastic Recycling’.
Rachael Maskell MP says:
“It has been a real journey over this Lent season as I have seen how plastic wrappings are used excessively in the food and retail industries. I have learnt about the impact that plastic waste is having on our planet, and how poor recycling facilities in York means that plastic is going to landfill sites when it should be recycled. The Council have to undertake a serious review of its recycling services which are falling behind public expectation and aspiration. A third of plastics produced end up in our oceans, while some have now been found in our food chain.
“All producers and retailers need to review how they package goods to ensure that alternatives to plastics are used. With the Shambles Market, and retailers in York like Alligator and Bishy Weigh, who avoid plastic waste where possible, we need to challenge the companies who continue to excessively utilise plastics. In meeting with Nestle, it was good to hear how they are researching alternatives to plastics, and it is the duty of Government to set stringent targets on industry and retailers to ensure that plastics are used to a minimum.
“Lent is meant to be a season of reflection. It has changed me. From my diet through to my choices, this period has made me review how I live, and I will continue to advocate for a plastic free environment and live this message through the purchases I make.”