West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas, local businesses and residents as well as volunteers from Plastic Free Penzance made the most of a bright, sunny morning to clear up plastic pollution in Eastern Green at the weekend.
The dozen or so litter pickers gathered up nine full bags of recyclable plastic and a similar number of bags of rubbish as well as a chair and even an old bike from hedges, verges and car parks in just a couple of hours.
“It was a wake-up call that we gathered so much rubbish so quickly but it was great to see the enthusiasm and passion for improving their local environment from everyone who came along,” said Mr Thomas.
“Almost everything we picked up was food and drink packaging – a lesson that a) as consumers we must be a lot more careful how we dispose of our rubbish and b) that businesses must do a lot more to reduce the amount of plastic packaging on their products.
“The Environment Bill, currently going through Parliament aims to transform the way we manage our waste – through powers requiring producers to take more responsibility for their products and packaging, by introducing a consistent approach to recycling, by tackling waste crime, by creating powers to introduce bottle deposit return schemes and by having more effective litter enforcement.
“As a new member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, I am privileged to be in an influential position to ensure that this legislation does the job we all want it to in helping to protect and enhance our natural environment.
“Fun though the morning was, hopefully in the future, we will not have to rely on Rachel Yates and her brilliant volunteers at Plastic Free Penzance to keep our streets and public areas clean and free of damaging rubbish and plastic.”