20 APR 2018

Coastal Scene Column - 13th April 2018

"Beach cleans are a regular feature along our special coastline. Big thanks to Adnams for again encouraging a good turn out and I know there are other regulars doing a good turn week in week out with a special mention for Alex Goodchild, a young man who paddles in his canoe collecting litter. The government is doing its bit to tackle the scourge of plastic waste and our latest initiative is to support a deposit return scheme for drinks, subject to consultation later this year. I visited Scandinavia and Germany late last year to see their schemes and understand in detail how they work. The consumer end is very similar but the processing and financing varies significantly. I really hope this will reduce littering and improve recycling with cleaner streets, countryside and seas as the result.

Reducing plastics in the marine environment is a key focus for the UK in hosting the Commonwealth Summit next week. 53 nations are coming together to consider key issues where together we can have a greater impact on reducing such pollution. I have been encouraging other Commonwealth nations, including visiting Kenya and Uganda, to join us in our ambitious proposals on reducing use of plastic bags, removing unnecessary microbeads from products and improving recycling of plastic.

I recently met the Energy Secretary of State, Greg Clark, to share concerns of the community in and near Leiston regarding the proposals for electricity substations for the wind farms and interconnector cables. In addition to Sizewell C, the cumulative impact of these additional projects is substantial and will need to be assessed very carefully. I will work closely with our councils and local communities as this progresses."

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