Revised Environment Bill returns to parliament with new green powers

A new version of the Environment Bill has returned to parliament, including a clause creating new powers to “stop the exports of polluting plastic waste to developing countries” as well as a requirement for ministers to regularly review international green law, DEFRA has announced.

The bill’s return has been highly anticipated by industry and green groups since the first version fell following the general election. 

According to DEFRA, there are just two significant additions to the bill and none of the existing clauses have been removed or amended. 

The first is a power enabling the government to ban or restrict the export of plastic waste to countries that are not members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), making good on a Conservative election manifesto pledge to tackle plastic pollution abroad. In a statement, DEFRA said it would consult with industry, NGOs and local authorities on specific restrictions or prohibitions. 

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