Rachel has joined MP colleagues from across the UK in pledging to Give Up Plastic for Lent. The Parliamentarians have each agreed to take part in different single challenges to reduce their own use of plastics during the 40 days in the run-up to Easter.

Rachel has promised to use a refillable cup everywhere when she buys a coffee or a tea instead of using disposable ones. And staff in her office have pledged, between them, not to use plastic sandwich bags and other lunchtime food containers as well as dispensing with plastic straws.

The group of MPs also intend to be on the look-out for products which they consider are ‘overly packaged’ and will encourage supermarkets and producers to reduce packaging altogether. They will be sharing their experiences using social media using the campaign slogan #GiveUpPlasticForLent.

Not all alternatives to plastics are necessarily more friendly to the environment, and MPs hope those who take part in the #GiveUpPlasticsForLent challenge will also be able to increase understanding of the environmental benefits of different consumer choices.

Rachel said: “Recent television programmes have highlighted the over-use of single-use plastics and I am really pleased to be taking part in this challenge – and when you think about what can easily be given up it’s very enlightening.

“The things we are cutting down on may seem small, but if everyone gets on board with this project, the total effects will be truly immense. Other simple but great ideas include giving up single use water bottles, buying fruit and veg loose, always carrying long-life shopping bags and avoiding the use of plastic cutlery.

“The Government has a 25-year plan for improving the environment, and if everyone helps a little then together we can make a big difference. I really hope others in the constituency will consider joining us in these simple actions.”