I was delighted to visit King's Meadow Primary School in Bicester to read the year 5 pupils a chapter of The Whale Watchers. Authored by Dougie Poynter, this informative book has been produced by Bicester-based business BRITA with input from Whale and Dolphin Conservation. It was great to see the pupils so engaged with the book and the importance of protecting the environment against plastic pollution, which can have such an impact on marine wildlife.
We continue to see real progress in the fight against plastic waste. In 2020, my Department introduced restrictions on the supply of plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers and plastic stemmed cotton buds. Going further, our landmark Environment Act introduced a raft of new powers and targets for reducing plastic pollution, and will change the way we think about litter and recycling in a fundamental way. I am proud that my Department and the government as a whole remain committed to working towards all plastic packaging being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.
However, new legislation is only part of the solution. We also need to change our own behaviour and take responsibility. It is important that we continue to educate the next generation about the importance of protecting our oceans. The Whale Watchers importantly shows children that no matter how small, we all have a role to play.