My Lords, I am pleased that, following an open discussion, the Government are putting forward the regulations, which I fully support. It is important for us to tackle plastic pollution and protect our environment, which needs looking after, particularly the oceans and beaches. It is estimated that over 150 million tonnes of plastic is in the world’s oceans, and every year 1 million birds and over 100,000 ?sea mammals die from eating or getting tangled in plastic waste. Furthermore, it is estimated that the plastic in the oceans will increase threefold in the next 15 years. What steps are we taking to remove plastic waste and stop it from entering the oceans?
Pollution is indeed a global problem. How are we working with or supporting other countries in tackling the issues? Are we supporting any research to modify the ways we manufacture and consume the items that pollute? Are there any outreach and educational programmes to encourage the young to reduce plastic consumption and marine litter?
The following paragraph was included by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park:
My noble friends Lord Sheikh and Lady Hooper, and my near-neighbour, the noble Lord, Lord Holmes, all in different ways raised the international component of the issue that we are discussing. I emphasise that the UK has shown real global leadership.