Reducing plastic waste

Westminster Hall debate
Elliot Colburn MP

Plastic waste on a beach

On 8 September, Elliot Colburn MP led a Westminster Hall debate on reducing plastic waste. To inform his debate, he asked to hear your ideas and suggestions on the topic.

Statement from the MP:

During the debate, he thanked those who contributed and referred to several of their suggestions.

"I thank the people who shared their views and information and engaged with the Commons Chamber engagement team in advance of the debate, because what has come out loud and clear is the call for action on tackling plastic waste..."
Elliot Colburn MP

Watch the full debate:

Image of Elliot Colburn MP with link to the full debate

The Government's response

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Rebecca Pow MP responded to the debate. She addressed the Government’s current policy agenda and future ambitions related reducing plastic waste.

 Watch or read her full speech for details on topics including:

For an overview of Government policy, see:

“A big thank you to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts with me ahead of this debate.
“There were some really interesting contributions centred on recycling, using technology and a range of other ideas to address the issue of plastic waste. These will be very useful for me in my preparation for the debate.
“Links to watch it and read the transcript will be posted here from 8 September – do tune in!”
Elliot Colburn MP

Introducing the debate, he gave the following statement:

"It is estimated that five million tonnes of plastic is used every year in the UK, nearly half of which is packaging. Most plastic waste ends up in landfills, incinerators (like the one in my constituency), or oceans, harming the environment and contributing towards air pollution.
"Whilst efforts are being made by the Government to tackle plastic waste as part of their Resources and Waste Strategy, more measures are needed to ensure that everyone is doing their bit to reduce plastic waste, including from the manufacturing source, to the consumer, to waste authorities and beyond.
"What measures can we take to ensure plastic waste is recycled, rather than sent to landfills and incinerators? What steps should be taken to reduce the amount of waste being produced to begin with? How can we use technology to reduce the impact of plastic produced?
"I will use the evidence in a Westminster Hall debate on 8 September in which cross-party MPs will discuss ways to help reduce plastic waste and push the Government to take necessary action."
Elliot Colburn MP
Parliamentary portrait of Elliot Colburn MP
Image of Elliot Colburn MP in the House of Commons chamber

What is a Westminster Hall Debate?

Westminster Hall debates take place in the Grand Committee Room in the House of Commons.

They give MPs an opportunity to raise local or national issues and receive a response from a government minister. 

Debates in Westminster Hall take place on ‘general debate' motions expressed in neutral terms. These motions are worded ‘That this House has considered [a specific matter]'.  

How Parliament works: Westminster Hall debates.

How your contributions are shared

In these exercises, members of the public who have signed relevant petitions are invited to share their experiences and ideas.

These are passed on to the MP leading the debate, who may refer to them directly in their speeches.

Find other petitions on the Petitions website, or see more examples of public contributions being used in debates below:

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Other debates, tours, education resources and more

Image of House of Commons Chamber

UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

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This exercise is run by Parliament's Chamber Engagement Function. Please give us feedback.

Photo credit for Elliot Colburn MP in the HoC Chamber: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor