Gove backs major recycling scheme and issues climate change warning
Environment Secretary Michael Gove has pledged his support to a major plastic bottle recycling scheme during a speech at London’s Kew Gardens.
During the speech, Gove warned that time is running out to repair the damage inflicted on the planet by humans and said that there is an obligation on a moral, political and economic level for people to take responsibility and play their part in reversing climate change.
He said: “The scale of action may be daunting, but the need to act is imperative.
“We are partners in the great chain of evolution with the rest of nature and endowed as we are with reason, we therefore have the responsibility to steward and protect”.
The recycling scheme in question involves a deposit return which covers all bottle sizes and provides a “the greatest possible incentive” for the public to commit to recycling, Gove said in Kew.
A deposit of roughly a few pence would go on top of drinks prices with the deposit then returned to the consumer when the empty bottle is returned to the retailer.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England backed the scheme, saying in a statement that Gove’s plans were the “strongest signal yet” of government desire to tackle the issue.
The statement read: ”This is the strongest signal yet of the government’s intention to transform the way that we deal with the waste created by drink’s containers, preventing them from choking our countryside, streets, rivers and oceans.
“These comments are another step forward from the government’s work to meet the ambitious targets laid out in its Resources and Waste Strategy”.
However, influential retail giants are opposed to the plans, and it is believed that the implementation and administration of the proposed scheme could cost the taxpayer as much as £1 billion.
Gove’s proposals also include the establishment of an Office for Environment Protection, which will hold jurisdiction over environmental issues including cracking down harshly on carbon emissions.
The new office will have enough power to take central government to court if they fail to comply with the new act according to Gove, and his words will leave food for thought for Conservative leadership contenders Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt in the race for the premiership.
Gove’s plans also indicate that he has no plans to leave his office as Environment Secretary, although that will depend on the decision of the successor to incumbent Prime Minister Theresa May.
The UK is also bidding to host to a United Nations climate change forum scheduled for 2020.