Evie takes plastic pollution concerns to Parliament

A 10-year old Fareham pupil has taken her campaign on plastic pollution to Parliament to raise awareness of the damage being caused to marine environments from plastic waste.

Evie Haddock visited the Houses of Parliament with her father James Haddock on Tuesday, 19th February to meet with Fareham MP Suella Braverman to discuss her campaign, which has also involved government ministers, supermarket chiefs and Her Majesty the Queen.

Evie’s campaign started when she and fellow pupils from Cornerstone CofE Primary School in Whiteley staged a dance at the Junior Rock Challenge, which centred around plastic pollution and how it is damaging marine environments across the globe. The event took place at Portsmouth Guildhall on the 14th February and involved pupils from across Key Stage 2.

The pupils chose the issue of plastic pollution after conducting litter picks on Lee-on-Solent Beach where they saw first-hand the amount of plastic being washed ashore, with them then winning 2nd prize at the dance event.

Evie decided that she wanted to see both the government and industry doing more to tackle plastic pollution and wrote letters to the Prime Minister, Suella Braverman MP, the Chief Executive of Tesco and the Queen to ask what was being done to address the problem. She subsequently had replies from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Chief Executive of Tesco and a Lady in Waiting on behalf of Her Majesty.

Evie Haddock said:

“Plastic pollution is a very important issue facing the world and I have become very interested in it in the past few months. Our school litter picks on the beach made my friends and I realise how much plastic is in the sea and the harm it can cause marine wildlife.

“I was really happy when our plastic pollution dance won 2nd prize at the Junior Rock Challenge and I wanted to carry on our campaign by writing to the Prime Minister, Suella Braverman, Tesco and the Queen to ask what is being done to tackle this big problem.

“It was great to receive all the replies I did and to know that action is being taken to tackle plastic pollution and reduce our use of single-use plastics. I hope more and more people become aware of this important issue so that they use less plastic and more environmentally friendly materials instead.”

Before her visit to Parliament, Evie also received a letter from Mrs Braverman which stressed the need to tackle plastic pollution and highlighted what action the Government is taking to reduce single-use plastics. As well as meeting her local MP in Parliament, she and dad James also had a tour of the House of Commons and House of Lords.

Suella Braverman MP said:

“The blight of plastic pollution is very concerning and the Government has been focussing a lot of its efforts in the past few years on tackling this issue by incentivising recycling and the use of alternative materials, as well as changing behaviour and urging industry to reduce the amount of plastic is used in products and packaging.

“Parliament itself has decided to replace a lot of its single-use plastic products with compostable alternatives and the Government has introduced a 25 Year Environment Plan, including looking to introduce a bottle deposit return scheme which rewards customers for returning plastic bottles to local shops as well as banning microbeads in cosmetic products.

“I was delighted to meet Evie and dad James in Parliament to discuss her very important campaign and the replies she has received from ministers, Tesco and the Queen. It’s fantastic to see someone so young campaigning on such an important issue and taking it upon herself to seek answers and raise awareness in the interests of the environment. I wish Evie all the best in her campaigning.”