Britain's 25 Year Environment Plan
Manchester’s Climate Change Strategy is underway with the aim of becoming a zero carbon city by 2050. Beyond this local action, on the 11th of January 2018, Theresa May launched the Government’s vision for a greener future – the 25 year Environment Plan. Within this ambitious plan lies, amongst other things, a pledge to eliminate avoidable waste, introduce new safeguards for wildlife and connect more children with nature.
The problem of plastic pollution has been a headlining topic in the news recently and even more so since the plan was published. This sets out to address the growing public concern, setting key targets to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042 and all other avoidable waste by 2050. In the light of this, the plan details aims and potential solutions to reach these targets. These include the introduction of “plastic-free” supermarket aisles and an extension of the 5p carrier bag charge to all English retailers.
The plan focuses on a range of issues from mitigating climate change to conservation of wildlife and plants. However, a number of environmental groups have criticised the plan’s lack of proposed legislation and the lengthy timescales for dealing with these important issues. Environmentalists also emphasised the need to focus on a wide spectrum of current environmental challenges that have not received the same prominence as plastic. For instance, air pollution receives little attention which is surprising given the extent of the problem and now recognised impact on health. Issues such fracking, air travel and the destruction of ancient woodlands are some of the topics notably absent from the plan.
Take a look at the summary of the government’s new plans here or watch the video below for more details.