Boris Johnson says ‘recycling doesn’t work’ and plastic use needs to be cut down instead

The Prime Minister said it was ‘very, very far from clear’ that the Cop26 summit would deliver the progress needed on climate change

Holly Bancroft
Monday 25 October 2021 15:32
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<p>Boris Johnson was speaking to a press conference with children in Downing Street </p>

Boris Johnson was speaking to a press conference with children in Downing Street

Boris Johnson has said that recycling plastic “doesn’t work” as he argued that we need to reduce the amount of the material that is used.

The Prime Minister was speaking to a press conference with children in Downing Street on Monday.

He told them that “recycling isn’t the answer. Recycling... it doesn’t begin to address the problem.”

He said “the only answer” was “we’ve all got to cut down on our use of plastic.”

Follow Cop26 news live: Boris Johnson says ‘touch and go’ whether climate summit will be success

Mr Johnson’s press conference co-host WWF chief executive Tanya Steele responded saying: “I think we need a bit of recycling, Prime Minister.”

But Boris Johnson insisted: “I don’t want to get doctrinaire, but it doesn’t work.”

He named and shamed Coca-Cola as being one of the twelve corporations “producing the overwhelming bulk of the world’s plastics.”

He added: “There are about 12 companies at the moment, 12 big corporations, that are producing the overwhelming bulk of the world’s plastics.

“Big famous drinks companies that you may know but I won’t name. I don’t know why not, but I won’t name them.

“Coca-Cola, for instance, and others, which are responsible for producing huge quantities of plastic, and we’ve got to move away from that and we’ve got to find other ways of packaging and selling our stuff.”

Mr Johnson did not sound hugely hopeful that the Cop26 summit would deliver progress needed to tackle climate change, saying it was “far from clear”.

He was holding a press conference with school children asking questions about the climate crisis.

The Prime Minister welcomed Australia’s commitment to a 2050 net zero target.

He said: “That was actually very difficult for Australia because Australia’s very heavily dependent on coal, on lots of carbon-producing industries and they’ve done a heroic thing, the Australians, in getting to that commitment.

“I hope that they will be joined by lots more countries in that region for the Cop summit.”

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