Michael Gove slammed after defying his OWN bid to tackle plastic waste | Politics | News

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The Environment Secretary has repeatedly railed against single-use plastics such as coffee cups and straws, branding them a “scourge”.

But he raised eyebrows after being seen drinking from a throw-away cup at the House of Commons today.

Appearing in front of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Mr Gove was challenged over his gaffe.

Tory MP Caroline Johnson – who was herself using a reusable cup – said: “This Government has worked very hard to get rid of single-use plastics.

“You have often been seen with a cup like this one.”

Michael Gove responded: “I’m afraid it’s from the House of Commons canteen.”

The Brexiteer has previously been seen clutching an environmentally friendly bamboo mug at Cabinet meetings.

And his colleagues in Theresa May’s top team have also been handed reusable cups to help tackle plastic pollution.

Mr Gove launched his drive against single-use plastics after being “haunted” by David Attenborough’s BBC series Planet Earth 2.

The documentary showed harrowing scenes of the damage done to the world’s oceans by plastic.

The Environment Secretary also hinted at plans to ban plastic straws in Britain.

Speaking in February, he said: “If it is bad for the environment, then banning it is a good thing.”

And in January, Prime Minister Theresa May launched ambitious plans to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by 2042.

She said: “We must reduce the demand for plastic, reduce the number of plastics in circulation and improve our recycling rates.

“In years to come, I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly.

“In the UK alone, the amount of single-use plastic wasted every year would fill 1,000 Royal Albert Halls.”

At the time, a Government spokesman added: “We are committed through our 25-year environment plan to eliminating avoidable plastic altogether by the end of 2042 so we leave our planet in a better state than we found it.

“We are exploring a range of options, and have already introduced a world-leading ban on microbeads, and set out plans to extend the 5p plastic bag charge, improve recycling rates and explore plastic-free aisles in supermarkets.”

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