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Christians react to Theresa May's environment speech

Thu 11 Jan 2018
By Cara Bentley

After the Prime Minister said she wants to extend the plastic bag charge and eradicate all plastic waste by 2042, Christian environmentalists said the proposals must be more concrete.

Launching her 25-year environment plan, Theresa May explained that supermarkets will be encouraged to have plastic-free aisles, millions of trees will be planted and more money will be put into outdoor spaces for schools.

The current 5p plastic bag charge only applies to companies of over 250 employees but May said, given its "inspiring" success in reducing the number of plastic bags by nine million, she will extend it to smaller shops.

Speaking on Premier, Paul Bodenham from the Green Christian group said he did agree with some of what May is proposing: "There needs to be signals in the market to ensure that the polluter pays, it's that principle being produced here."

However, he added: "My worry is that it's a bit of a fig leaf really - you're going have these little, popular polices - I think they will be popular, they'll be well understood - but they will be pretty superficial."

Explaining that small moves won't solve the issue, he said: "What we need is a whole look at the industrial strategy of this country that is going to re-engineer the economy so that it's low-resource and low-carbon, and it [the Prime Minister's strategy] needs to go a lot deeper."

Reacting to the speech Deborah Tomkins, also from Green Christian, said: "It's a good start in the right direction, I think we can all agree with that…

"I think it doesn't go far enough and that's partly because all the structures are already in place and it takes time to change things."

The lack of legal recommendations behind the plans has been criticised.

Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party, tweeted: "No legislative backing for a set of vague, very long term ambitions.

"Nothing new at all on climate."

Deborah Tomkins also suggested that the 25 year plan seemed unambitious, explaining: "It could be done a lot quicker, as was done in Rwanda.

"Rwanda is totally plastic free, people's bags are checked at the airport when they come into the country and any plastic bags are actually confiscated."

Theresa May outlined a few her policies for the next 25 years. 

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