The Queen of England’s speech to Parliament yesterday, October 14th included measures for the environment. Ministers are focusing on legislation aimed at reducing plastic waste. This announcement includes the first nationwide measures for plastic recycling and plastic production.

The Queen’s speech is the announcement of upcoming laws, with the text of the bills to be released later. Alleged details of the law include a bottle deposit, ending the post code recycling lottery and rules for packaging producers. The Queen said the burden of environmental cleanup should fall on the polluter. The bill also includes air pollution rules, water quality and ecological restoration.

Speaking about the environment, the Queen said in her speech, “My Ministers remain committed to protecting and improving the environment for future generations. For the first time, environmental principles will be enshrined in law. Measures will be introduced to improve air and water quality, tackle plastic pollution and restore habitats so plants and wildlife can thrive. Legislation will also create new legally-binding environmental improvement targets. A new, world-leading independent regulator will be established in statute to scrutinize environmental policy and law, investigate complaints and take enforcement action.”

Environmental rules will be under the charge of the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP).

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the environmental rules, “a momentous new environment bill – a lodestar by which we will guide our country towards a cleaner and greener future.”

Environmental activists await the full text of the bill to see how wide-reaching this power will be. Current rules in the United Kingdom leave recycling up to individual councils. This means that some areas have robust waste practices and some have none.

Read more about plastics in the United Kingdom in One Green Planet, including news that UK-based Budweiser announced plastic reduction strategies. The UK also recently announced a massive tree-planting campaign.

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