"This week my department set out plans to overhaul our waste system, demonstrating our firm commitment to leave the environment in a better state than we found it. Under our plans, which we are now consulting on, packaging producers will pay the full cost of dealing with their waste and all households will follow a standard set of recycling requirements, making recycling easier. We are also seeking views on the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme - another important step in reducing littering and improving recycling. To incentivise the use of recycled plastic, we are also consulting on plans to introduce a tax on plastic packaging which does not meet a minimum threshold of recycled content. As the Environment Minister, I am absolutely committed to going further and faster to reduce, reuse, recycle and cut waste so we can be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we inherited it.
On a similar note, I was delighted to help launch this year's Great British Spring Clean, run by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. The campaign, which runs from March 22nd to April 23rd, will see up to half a million people taking action to clean up streets, parks and beaches across the country. This is a really important initiative and we need to be united in making sure this becomes a habit that everyone gets into on a regular basis, of not allowing litter to be left. I hope local people will get involved by taking part and organising events. For more information or to register an event visit - www.keepbritaintidy.org
Finally, I was pleased to have the privilege of formally opening the new Ipswich Tidal Flood Barrier, a £67m project to help keep the town safe from tidal surges during storms. This new piece of infrastructure will give businesses increased confidence to come and invest here, creating 4,000 extra jobs and making the Waterfront an attractive place. Being a Suffolk MP it is really important to me that the County Town of Suffolk thrives because we in other parts of the County really rely on Ipswich becoming stronger and getting more investment to make sure we have that high quality offer for people to live and work in Suffolk, ensuring the sustainability of our communities."
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