48 Conservative MPs launch environmental campaign for Lent

Conservative MPs from across the UK are pledging to reduce their environmental impact for Lent again this year. This follows the hugely successful campaign last year which saw 40 MPs pledge to cut down on their consumption of single-use plastics through pledges such as cutting down on the use of plastic water bottles, using refillable coffee cups, avoiding using plastic cutlery, and buying loose fruit and vegetables free from plastic packaging.

This year, 48 MPs have agreed to take part in different challenges to reduce their environmental impact during the 40 days in the run up to Easter. A large number of the MPs will also be supporting the work of the charity Tearfund which is working with communities in developing countries to improve lives and the environment by tackling waste plastic. This Lent, Tearfund are partnering with the Department for International Development’s Aid Match Programme to support community recycling hubs in two of Pakistan’s worst slums, based in Karachi and Hyderabad.

While some MPs are pledging to give up and reduce single-use plastic for Lent again this year, others are making commitments which include:
• Shopping locally to reduce their food miles
• Going meat-free to reduce their carbon footprint
• Leading litter picking projects in their constituencies
• Starting a zero-carbon commute

The campaign launches after the Government announced the first comprehensive update of the Resources and Waste Strategy in more than a decade. The new strategy will cut our reliance on single-use plastics, end confusion over household recycling, tackle the problem of packaging by making polluters pay, and end the economic, environmental and moral scandal that is food waste.

Together we can move away from being a ‘throw-away’ society. We are committed to working with communities and businesses to leave the environment in a better state for future generations. Single-use plastics are the environmental scourge of our time – 1 million birds, and over 100,000 other sea mammals and turtles die every year from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste.

The group of MPs will be sharing their experiences using social media via the campaign slogans: #GiveUpPlasticForLent, #ShopLocalforLent, #LentilsforLent and #LentLitterPicker.

After the 40-day challenge, MPs will be inviting plastics manufacturers and businesses to learn from their experiences and see if more can be done to reduce our reliance on plastic and promote more environmentally-friendly practices among consumers.

Launching the campaign, Vicky Ford MP for Chelmsford said: “I am delighted that so many colleagues are joining me in making environmental pledges for Lent this year.

“By coming together and committing ourselves to such a variety of pledges to reduce our environmental impact – we can make a huge difference. I hope that many people across the country will also consider taking on an environmental challenge this year.”

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove MP said: “These environmental pledges for Lent are a great way of deepening our understanding of the steps we need to take to go further and faster in reducing waste, reusing resources and recycling.

“By working together, we can move away from being a ‘throw-away’ society to one that treads more lightly on the planet, ensuring that we leave our environment in a better state for future generations.”

MPs that have pledged to join the campaign:

  1. Alan Mak MP
  2. Andrea Leadsom MP
  3. Andrew Bowie MP
  4. Andrew Selous MP
  5. Anne Marie Trevelyan MP
  6. Brandon Lewis MP
  7. Caroline Dinenage MP
  8. Dame Caroline Spelman MP
  9. Cheryl Gillan MP
  10. Claire Perry MP
  11. David Morris MP
  12. Derek Thomas MP
  13. Eleanor Laing MP
  14. Fiona Bruce MP
  15. Gillian Keegan MP
  16. Harriett Baldwin MP
  17. Helen Whately MP
  18. Helen Grant MP
  19. Henry Bellingham MP
  20. Henry Smith MP
  21. James Cleverly MP
  22. James Duddridge MP
  23. Jo Churchill MP
  24. Justine Greening MP
  25. Kevin Hollinrake MP
  26. Kirstene Hair MP
  27. Leo Docherty MP
  28. Luke Graham MP
  29. Maria Caulfield MP
  30. Matt Hancock MP
  31. Matt Warman MP
  32. Matthew Offord MP
  33. Michael Gove MP
  34. Mims Davies MP
  35. Paul Scully MP
  36. Pauline Latham MP
  37. Penny Mordaunt MP
  38. Sir Peter Bottomley MP
  39. Philip Dunne MP
  40. Rachel Maclean MP
  41. Rebecca Pow MP
  42. Simon Clarke MP
  43. Sir David Amess MP
  44. Sir Desmond Swayne MP
  45. Thérèse Coffey MP
  46. Tom Tugendhat MP
  47. Victoria Prentis MP
  48. Zac Goldsmith MP

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