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Ninety-eight per cent of MPs believe compostable packaging alternatives can partially solve the UK’s problems with plastic pollution, according to new research.

A poll of 100 of the 650 MPs was conducted by market research agency Survation last month – made up of 50% Conservatives, 32% Labour and 11% SNP, and including representatives from the Liberal Democrats, DUP, Sinn Féin and Plaid Cymru.

The results showed almost all believe compostables – materials which, in the right circumstances, will fully biodegrade leaving only natural elements behind – can be part of the solution to the plastic crisis, with just 1% saying they disagreed, and a further 1% replying they didn’t know.

The poll also demonstrated how 86% of MPs think the UK Government should invest more in infrastructure to manage compostable materials.

The results come hot on the heels of an open letter, signed by a cross-party selection of MPs, NGOs and others, published last month, which urged the Government to include a stringent set of compostable targets in the forthcoming Environment Bill.

The Bill has been criticised for omitting to address viable alternatives to plastic, and is set to enter the committee stage later this week where changes can be made.

It is hoped the poll’s results may lead to the inclusion of amendments relating to compostables.

Daphna Nissenbaum, CEO of compostable flexible packaging company TIPA, said: “These results demonstrate that across the political spectrum there is essentially absolute support for compostables.

“I’m glad to see that MPs agree that to tackle the plastic pollution crisis and work together to amend the Environment Bill to at the very least include targets for compostable packaging.”

According to the Waste & Resources Action Programme, approximately 2.4 million tonnes of packaging waste is produced by the UK each year, of which 40% is plastic.

Households are responsible for about 1.7 million tonnes of that waste.


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