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Fisheries Minister attends Sustainable Eel Group event and the Telegraph's 'Zero Waste' campaign

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10 Years of the Sustainable Eel Group

Fisheries Minister Robert Goodwill and Chair of Sustainable Eel Group Andrew Kerr

Yesterday (Thursday 27 June) the Fisheries Minister Robert Goodwill attended the 10 Years of the Sustainable Eel Group event, held at the National History Museum in London. Minister Goodwill presented awards for the outstanding contributions to eel conservation made by eel experts and enthusiasts from the commercial, scientific and conservation world.

European Eels, Anguilla anguilla, are a critically endangered species listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Its population has fallen steadily since the 1980s.

In recent years, the Sustainable Eel Group has been exposing the scale of illegal eel trade from Europe to Asia. The UK Government is committed to the recovery of the European eel, and it will be supporting the review of the EU eel regulation that is being worked up by the Commission in 2019, with the intention to continue the cooperation on conservation and sustainability of this species post EU Exit.

Further coverage of the Telegraph’s ‘Zero Waste’ campaign: recycling rates

Several empty plastic bottles

As part of their ‘Zero Waste’ campaign launched yesterday, today’s Telegraph looks at inconsistent recycling across the country, reporting that this will make it difficult for the UK to meet a target of recycling 50% of household waste by 2020.

However, the article fails to reflect our landmark Resources and Waste Strategy, through which we are taking game-changing action to drive-up the nation’s recycling. This includes introducing a consistent set of recyclable materials for collection in England – no matter which part of the country people live in - as well as consistent labelling on packaging to end the confusion over recycling. We’ve recently consulted on these plans and will set out next steps shortly.

We will also make the producers of polluters pay the full cost of dealing with their packaging waste so that council’s do not pick up the tab, and are investing around £2.9 billion to support local waste management infrastructure.

Welcoming the campaign yesterday and outlining the government’s action, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

I commend the Telegraph for raising awareness of this critical issue. We know that people want to recycle and do their bit to safeguard our precious environment, so I’m delighted to support the ‘Zero Waste’ campaign.

Through our landmark Resources and Waste Strategy, we are introducing a more consistent set of recyclable materials for collection in England, no matter which part of the country people live in. It’s one of many truly game-changing innovations we’re bringing forwards to help everyone reduce their waste.

Together we can all lighten our footprint on the planet so it can flourish for generations to come.

The government has announced a range of measures to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste – including introducing a world-leading ban on microbeads, have taken more than 15 billion plastic bags out of circulation, and have confirmed will we ban the supply of plastic draws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds next April. We have also consulted on plans for a Deposit Return Scheme for cans and bottles and a world-leading tax to boost recycled content in plastic packaging.

You can read more about how we will overhaul the waste and recycling system in our landmark Resources and Waste Strategy .

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