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Almost half a million Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Rangers and volunteers across the UK are calling on the government to join their #PlasticPromise campaign

Research from Girlguiding’s 2019 Girls’ Attitudes Survey found that 86% of girls and young women aged 11-21 say young people should be more involved in conversations with decision-makers about tackling environmental issues.

In addition, 76% of girls and young women aged 7-21 say it’s a good idea to give people money back when they return plastic bottles to shops, to encourage more people to recycle.

Girlguiding is calling on the UK government to involve children and young people in the development of its plans for the deposit return scheme. Girlguiding is working with its young members to find out what they think the most effective way would be to ensure the scheme is accessible to children and young people and will be feeding the results back to decision-makers next month.

Girls all over the country are writing to their MPs and MSPs, urging them to make a #PlasticPromise and asking them to go on social media and share how they are representing young people’s voices.

Sandy Martin, Labour MP and Shadow Minister for Waste and Recycling said:

“Young people are crucial advocates in making plastic pollution socially unacceptable.  We need people to do the right thing and stop using so many single-use plastics, but we also need to invest in ways to help people recycle – such as with deposit return schemes. I am so glad that girls in guiding not only get this but are fighting to get the changes we need.”

Caroline Lucas, The Green Party said:

“This is a fantastic initiative from Girlguiding and as it comes from their members themselves, I’m sure it will make a huge impact. A deposit return scheme is exactly the way to go. Some 12 billion plastic bottles are being dumped in Britain every year. They should be recycled, and a deposit scheme will give people the incentive to do this.”

Vicky Ford, Conservative MP said:

“As a long-standing campaigner against unnecessary single-use plastic, I am delighted that Girlguiding has taken on the challenge of tackling plastic waste, both through girls’ own pledges and by raising awareness. Plastic pollution threatens our oceans, rivers and landscapes. It can be devastating for wildlife especially birds and marine life. In many poorer parts of the world where there is little waste management, discarded plastic blocks drains, causes flooding and can lead to outbreaks of diseases such as malaria and cholera.

“Fortunately, the Government is taking action. We have already banned the most damaging plastics such as microbeads, straws and stirrers. The new Environment Bill will bring a tax on plastic producers, a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles and improved recycling.”

Anyone can make a #PlasticPromise by visiting plasticpromises.co.uk There are five promises to choose from:

  1. Start using a reusable water bottle
  2. Start using an alternative to disposable cutlery
  3. Start using a reusable box or reusable wrapping instead of clingfilm
  4. Start using a reusable coffee cup
  5. Stand up and speak out about cutting plastic waste – and make big brands listen


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