Tory MPs pledge to cut plastic use

Dozens of senior Tories including Environment Secretary Michael Gove have promised to cut down on their plastic use for Lent in the latest sign of the party's bid to burnish its green credentials.

Business Secretary Greg Clark and 11 other ministers have promised to reduce the amount of single-use plastics such as water bottles, cutlery and disposable coffee cups they consume.

Mr Gove was spotted strolling into Downing Street with a reusable coffee mug in January and later the entire Cabinet was provided with a green alternative to disposable cups.

Composite image of (left to right) Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, Minister of State Caroline Nokes, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Wales Secretary Alun Cairns holding reusable coffee cups, some still in their boxes, as they leave 10 Downing Street, London, after a Cabinet meeting (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Composite image of (left to right) Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, Minister of State Caroline Nokes, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Wales Secretary Alun Cairns holding reusable coffee cups, some still in their boxes, as they leave 10 Downing Street after a Cabinet meeting (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The Tories, keen to woo young voters, have made a concerted effort to stress their environmental policies, including a major speech by Theresa May setting out plans to curb plastic use.

Some 41 Tory MPs have committed to cut plastic use in the run-up to Easter.

Zac Goldsmith said: "We have treated the world's oceans as a rubbish dump for years and the effects on the natural world have been grotesque.

"Millions of us have seen Blue Planet and even if we didn't know about the problem before, we do now."

He added: "We all have a role to play, and I am writing to all my local restaurants, bars, cafes and supermarkets to ask them to do their bit to wean our community off plastic.

"Our first goal locally is to get rid of plastic straws, stirrers, unrecyclable cups."

A series of MPs made their commitments on social media.

James Cleverly said he hoped he was giving up disposable coffee cups and vegetables in plastic wrapping "hopefully forever".

Vicky Ford said it was a time to "cut back on plastic and learn about alternatives".

It's #AshWednesday and #Valentines day. Good time to show some ?for the environment, cut back on plastic and learn about alternatives. #giveupplasticforlentpic.twitter.com/I1NGruVOEo

-- Vicky Ford MP (@vickyford) February 14, 2018

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