UK Election manifestos: as scored by Friends of the Earth

This article from Friends of the Earth makes it very clear who not to vote for…

The manifestos are out and so are our scores on how parties have done on the environment.

There are lots of issues close to our hearts at this election. It’s clear that the next 5 years are going to be crucial for protecting the environment.

Overall when we totted up the scores (from 0 to 3) for each policy the Greens came out well ahead, followed by Labour, then Lib Dems, with the Conservatives some way behind.

Source: Election manifestos: the scores are in

But what about plastic specifically?

At Anti-Plasti we’re most concerned about our usage of plastic. FOE provides a full updated (2 June) detailed breakdown of party pledges and how the parties scored against all of our manifesto demands [PDF].

A quick search reveals page 19 as the interesting one for us:

On WASTE what FOE wants is:

Put in place a binding target to halve food waste from farm to fork by 2030, require all coffee cups to be fully recyclable by 2018, and cut the amount of plastic waste entering rivers and seas by at least three-quarters by 2020.

Here’s what the parties say, and the score from FOE (out of 3):

Conservative

Manifesto Commitment

We will do more to reduce litter, including by supporting comprehensive rubbish collection and recycling, supporting better packaging,

Totally inadequate – 1

Labour

Manifesto Commitment

We will set guiding targets for plastic bottle deposit schemes, working with food manufacturers and retailers to reduce waste.

UPDATE: Creating sustainability across all areas of our lives and activity is important. This includes the sustainability of our diet and ensuring the meat we eat is of better quality, working with food manufacturers and retailers to minimise our waste in everyday life, particularly in relation to plastic bottles and non-biodegradable coffee cups,

Totally inadequate – 1
UPDATED SCORE: Welcome widening of scope of policy but still falls short of firm commitments asked for – 1

Lib Dems

Manifesto Commitment

Pass a Zero-Waste Act, including legally binding targets for reducing net consumption of key natural resources, and introducing incentives for businesses to improve resource efficiency.

Benefit consumers by promoting better product design to improve repairability, reuse and recycling.

Establish a statutory waste recycling target of 70% in England and extend separate food waste collections to at least 90% of homes by 2022.

Building on the success of our plastic bag charge, introduce a 5p charge on disposable coffee cups to reduce waste.

Establish a coherent tax and regulatory framework for landfill, incineration and waste collection, including reinstating the landfill tax escalator and extending it to the lower rate, and consulting on the introduction of an incineration tax.

Work with local government to ensure these commitments are fully funded.

Comprehensive plans with a specific zero waste act. Also a statutory waste recycling target – 3

Green

Manifesto Commitment

The Green Party would promote the culture of reusing and refilling, through: the introduction of a bottle deposit scheme; free public water dispensers and a community refill scheme; and an end to unnecessary single-use plastics. Tackling plastic waste sits alongside our long-standing commitment to creating a more circular economy – where recycling and reusing materials become central to our way of life. Tough action to reduce plastic and other waste, including the introduction of Deposit Return Schemes, with a zero waste target.

UPDATE: we would set a statutory waste-recycling target of 80% by 2022 in England, and introduce a ban on food-waste and other organic material being sent to landfill – this would come alongside measures to end single-use plastics, including a Bottle Deposit Return Scheme.

Mention of circular economy and new schemes. Covers plastic waste specifically but clearly not food, and no clear plans for legislation.
More detail needed – 2

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