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Tuesday 19 December: Microbeads, plastic waste and fish restocking

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Microbeads ban backed by Houses of Commons and Lords

A sample containing microbeads is displayed.

Following debates on the microbeads ban in the House of Commons and the House of Lords yesterday, there has been widespread coverage in national press, including in the Daily Mail, The i, The Times and The Sun.

Both Houses debated the topic and have backed the ban on plastic microbeads in rinse-off personal care and cosmetic products such as face scrubs, toothpastes and shower gels. This ban is one of the strongest in the world and is part of the wider government crackdown on plastics.
This evening Ministers will sign the secondary legislation to put this ban in place. The ban on the manufacture of products with microbeads will come into force early next year, with a ban on sale from July 2018.

A Defra spokesperson said:

Countries around the world need to take urgent action to stop plastic entering our oceans and we are already making great strides, taking nine billion plastic bags out of circulation with our 5p carrier bag charge and drawing up one of the world’s toughest bans on microbeads.

Plastic waste and recycling

This is a picture of some plastic bottles
Plastic bottles (copyright: Thinkstock)

Today the Daily Mail covered the Environment Secretary’s plans to reduce plastic waste, marine pollution and the future of recycling policy. This was also covered by the Sun, Times and Telegraph.

This included reference to past successes such as the 5p carrier bag charge, the ban on microbeads currently be debated by Parliament and the upcoming Resources and Waste Strategy.
A Defra spokesperson said:

We are taking significant steps to tackle plastic waste.We are introducing a ban on plastic microbeads and we have taken nine billion plastic bags out of circulation with our carrier bag charge.

We recognise more needs to be done to protect our environment from the scourge of plastics, and have launched a call for evidence around deposit reward and return schemes for plastic bottles and other drinks containers.

EA brings  festive cheer to anglers

An imagine of an angler restocking the river with fish
Fish Re-stocking

The Environment Agency is getting into the festive spirit by providing stocking fillers for anglers as its staff restock rivers around the country with thousands of fish in the run up to Christmas. Species including Chub, Dace, Barbel, Bream, and Grayling are being restocked as part of the Environment Agency’s annual programme – funded in whole by rod licence sales.

Calverton fish farm, the Environment Agency’s specialist fish breeding farm in Nottingham, is the source of the fish; producing between 400,000 and 500,000 fish each year.

Alan Henshaw, fisheries team leader at the Environment Agency said:

Many of our industrialised rivers have improved dramatically in water quality in the last 30 years and restocking from Calverton has accelerated the restoration of natural fish stocks and viable fisheries.

New techniques in Pond Rearing have delivered significant improvements in the average size of the 18 month-old fish and many rivers and lakes throughout England have benefited from these stockings. The quality and range of fish produced as part of the restocking programme is testament to the hard work of the staff at Calverton farm.

All of this work is funded by money from rod licence sales to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries.

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