Environment Minister Rebecca Pow MP has praised volunteer litter-pickers and beach-cleaners across the South West for their “tremendous work” to protect the environment.
The Big Clean, organised by South West Conservatives, saw MPs, councillors and volunteers lead or join nearly 20 events at litter hotspots across the region, including beaches, streets and parks.
Rebecca Pow said: “There is nothing more Conservative than wanting to protect our environment.
“The South West boasts some of the most beautiful beaches and countryside in the world. Unfortunately, these places are often spoiled by those who thoughtlessly leave behind their litter.
“I am delighted to support the Big Clean, and congratulate all of those who are taking part to help protect our environment. This will build on the work that we are doing to tackle litter and problematic plastics.
“We have already banned the sale of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds, increased the plastic bag charge to 10p and extended it to all retailers, and launched a consultation on banning single-use plastic cutlery, plates and polystyrene cups. We have also launched a call for evidence on other problematic single-use plastics – including wet wipes, which is something I am particularly passionate about.”
David Reed led the local event with Cheltenham’s MP, Alex Chalk, Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Chris Nelson and a group of local councillors. David said: “This was a tremendous effort from our supporters and it was encouraging to hear so many positive comments from members of the public; a great team effort from Cheltenham Conservatives.”
“Litter continues to be a problem in too many places, damaging our coastline, countryside and streets, and we’re determined to confront the issue head-on.”
The effort was one of nearly 20 events across the whole of the South West, ranging from Perranporth in Cornwall to Bournemouth in Dorset and to Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, involving over 100 people in total.
Julian Ellacott, chairman of South West Conservatives, said: “Conservatives care deeply about the environment and it was great to see so many taking part in The Big Clean this weekend, just as many of them do regularly throughout the year as part of their commitment to their local communities.
“The Big Clean was a big success and I would like to thank everyone who took part, especially members of the public who joined in, as well as all those involved in other campaigns and projects to reduce or eliminate litter, all year round.”