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Our reaction to the 25 Year Environment Plan

The Prime Minister has launched the government’s long-awaited 25 year plan for the environment. Why is it important? Does it go far enough? And how can you help make sure the government keeps its promises to nature?

Theresa May has announced the government's 25 Year Environment Plan. It sets out how the UK will tackle the crisis facing our natural world.

The plan promises to end plastic waste, create new habitats for endangered species, deliver a 'green Brexit', create nature-friendly schools, and lead the way for other countries to tackle environmental destruction.


The plan is a strong start, and it's good to see the government putting the environment firmly on the agenda. But, we need to see them going further and faster. If we wait until 2042 to end plastic waste, as the plan suggests, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea.

We want to see a ban on single-use plastic by 2025, and more urgent action on dirty air, climate change and protecting our precious natural heritage. 


Why we need this plan

Back in 2011 the government promised we would be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.

The 25 Year Environment Plan is their long-term vision for how we’ll achieve this.

Everyone depends on nature. It underpins our economy and our wellbeing, from the food we eat to the air we breathe.

But our environment is in crisis and it’s getting worse: sea mammals and birds are being killed by plastic litter, people are being poisoned by air pollution, and flooding is costing our economy billions.

The tide can be turned and the government's plan includes some bold ambitions for making this happen. 

The UK can be a global champion for the planet

The UK is the world’s fifth largest economy, importing food and other goods from all over the planet.

As the UK looks to strike trade deals with other countries when it leaves the EU, we can’t allow short-term gains to come at the expense of people and nature overseas. That's why we've been talking to the government on the need for the plan to have a global vision.

We're pleased that it includes commitments to keep the protection of species at the top of the international agenda.

The Prime Minister announced steps to tackle the plastic pollution crisis wrecking our oceans, such as extending the 5p plastic bag levy and supporting plastic-free supermarket aisles.

These are all positive steps, but they don’t go far enough fast enough.

We need to move towards an end to single-use plastics now, or our oceans will choke on litter.

On air pollution, which causes 40,000 premature deaths in the UK every year, it’s good to see a target to halve its health impacts by 2030. But we still believe the ban on petrol and diesel cars must happen sooner.

The government must deliver on its ambitions. Join us and help make it happen

This could be a turning point for the UK’s relationship with the environment, where we begin to restore nature rather than destroy it.

The plan is an important first step, but the commitments will only become a reality if they are backed by the force of law, money and a new environmental watchdog with the power to make sure the government lives up to its promises.

We’ve worked hard to ensure this plan is as ambitious as possible and won’t stop until these promises become reality.

Join us and help us put an end to the environmental crisis.