'Climate voices are being drowned out'

A group holding a banner saying step up to reuse in Westminster
The charity wants to speak to all political parties [City to Sea]

A sustainability charity in Bristol says climate arguments are being "drowned out" and wants political parties to accelerate the end of single use plastics in the UK.

City to Sea has visited party headquarters ahead of the general election with an open letter, asking them to work on legislation and policies that could help the climate crisis.

Jane Martin, the chief executive officer of the charity, said most people were "frustrated" with the amount of plastic on sale in shops, and instead wanted to buy reusable materials.

However, she said the system favoured single use plastics, which were contributing to the climate crisis.


"We face a triple environmental crisis," Ms Martin explained ahead of World Refill Day on 16 June.

"Climate change... pollution and waste and biodiversity loss, and plastic has a part in all of those, because it comes from the fossil fuel industry, it's being found in the stomachs of our fish and sea birds and it's also littering our streets.

Speaking about what her charity is asking of political parties, she added: "During this election year, everybody's got a lot to talk about and voices around the climate emergency are being drowned out.

"The research we do shows people are frustrated with the amount of single use plastic in the shops.

'Forward-thinking businesses'

"They want to buy reusable and refillable products but can't find them, and there are businesses trying to meet that need, but at the minute, the whole system is set up to favour single use.

"What we're asking is for our leaders to step up and to make sure the system is fair or that it promotes more sustainable choices so we're calling for 30% of packaging to be reusable by 2030... and we're also asking for unnecessary plastics... to be legislated out, and we'd also like them to cap plastic production."

Talking about Bristol, she said the charity was started there when the city was green capital of EU.

"We're really lucky to be surrounded by some fantastic forward-thinking businesses... and great universities, and as the hub in south west... there are so many organisations which are innovating in the green space."

The Green Party had manifesto pledges to move the UK to renewable energy, give "rights" to nature, and clean up rivers.

On the climate, the Conservatives said they would continue to work towards Net Zero by 2050, develop onshore wind and solar farms, as well as focus on nuclear energy.

Labour said it was "committed" to moving to a circular economy, as well as introducing a state-owned energy firm and upgrading the electricity and gas network.

The Liberal Democrats said they wanted the “complete elimination of non-recyclable, single-use plastics” within three years with “an ambition” to end plastic waste exports by 2030.

Reform said it would stop Net Zero commitments and scrap renewable energy subsidies.

Follow BBC Bristol on Facebook, X and Instagram. Send your story ideas to us on email or via WhatsApp on 0800 313 4630.

More on this story

Related internet links