Legal

Breaking: Lancs residents lose latest legal challenges over Cuadrilla’s fracking site but the fight goes on

pnr180101-ros-wills-5.jpg

Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site near Blackpool, 1 January 2018. Photo: Ros Wills

Lancashire campaigners against Cuadrilla’s plan to frack near Blackpool have lost their latest legal challenges against the Communities’ Secretary, Sajid Javid.This afternoon, three Appeal Court judges in London dismissed the cases brought by Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG) and Lytham campaigner, Gayzer Frackman.

They also refused requests for further appeal.  But Mr Frackman’s legal team has lodged a request directly with the Supreme Court to challenge today’s ruling.

PNRAG had argued that Mr Javid  misunderstood local and national planning policy in granting planning permission for Cuadrilla to drill, frack and test four wells at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton. Mr Frackman had said permission should have been refused on climate change and public health grounds.

Cuadrilla has welcomed today’s judgement. It’s chief executive, Francis Egan, said the company had always remained confident that the planning consent would stand (see full statement below).

Mr Frackman said this evening:

“We will now fight on and seek to take our case to the Supreme Court. The government has signed up to the Paris Agreement and so must be held accountable for supporting the fracking industry and the consequences for increased carbon emissions. We also hope that the precautionary principle will be properly applied, which is part of our case, because of the potentially devastating impacts of fracking on pollution and our health.”

“Having witnessed Cuadrilla’s desperate dash to drill over the last year at Preston New Road, we now want to re-double our efforts to stop this toxic industry.”

PNRAG said it was “deeply disappointed” at the decision made by the three appeal court judges, Lord Justice Simon, Lord Justice Lindblom and Lord Justice Henderson.

A spokesperson said:

 “Our community has been marginalised and dismissed in favour of a decision made in the depths of Westminster.”

“Over 100,000 people objected to this fracking application. In addition, our parish council, Fylde Borough Council and Lancashire County Council rejected the application. They had a duty of care to local residents and they fulfilled that duty. They determined that the risks of this industry far outweighed any benefits to the local community.

“By overruling Lancashire County Council, this decision only benefits big business. The last three years of this fracking challenge process has damaged democracy and trust in politicians, leaving our community feeling vulnerable and unrepresented.

“We will now take time to scrutinise the decision documents and liaise with our legal team. Our end goal has not changed: we are still intent on achieving justice for the Preston New Road community and beyond.”

Fighting on

Gayzer Frackman legal team

Gayzer Frackman, far right, with his legal team, including Estelle Dehon (second right), Marc Willers (third right) and Paul Stookes (second left)

Estelle Dehon, a barrister at Cornerstone Barristers which represented Mr Frackman, said the Supreme Court should examine the issues of this case:

“Given the serious impact of climate change, it is imperative that the government requires developers to make a proper assessment of the greenhouse gas impacts of development.

“This is especially important where exploration seeks to pave the way for a new form of fossil fuel to be exploited. There is no logic in granting permission for shale gas exploration if the production phase will emit so much carbon and methane that its environmental impact is unacceptable.”

Ms Dehon also said the courts should examine the tension between the precautionary principle and national planning policy, which said decision-makers should assume that other regulators would do their job properly. Given the lack of evidence on the health impacts of fracking, the assumption about other regulators could not be justified under the precautionary principle, she said.

Marc Willers QC of Garden Court Chambers, who also represented Mr Frackman, said:

“This is the first case in which a court has had to consider whether planning permission can be granted for shale gas exploration wells without the need to take account of the greenhouse gas emissions that will result from shale gas production at the same wells.

“It is important that this issue is considered by the Supreme Court at a time when the shale gas industry is still in its infancy. We intend to seek permission to appeal to the Supreme Court so that it can do so.”

Dr Paul Stookes, Solicitor-Advocate at Richard Buxton Environmental Law solicitors representing Mr Frackman said:

“The reality is that the UK has breached fundamental EU laws relating to environmental impact assessment and the precautionary principle in order to permit shale gas production under the disguise of ‘exploration’. It is clear now that fracking is an unpopular and wholly uncertain way to extract an unwanted fossil fuel. It wholly contradicts the government’s latest commitment to hold our environment in trust for the next generation. If the UK is genuine about its 25 year environment plan and clean growth strategy then it must abandon the folly of fracking and focus on supporting and developing renewable energy.”

If Mr Frackman’s team were allowed to argue its case in the Supreme Court and it was successful, the Government would have to reconsider its decision to approve Cuadrilla’s  Preston New Road plans. It may also be forced to strengthen the regulatory regime and review other approvals of permission for fracking.

Rowan Smith, a solicitor at Leigh Day, which represented Preston New Road Action Group, said:

 “On behalf of the whole community in Lancashire, we are obviously bitterly disappointed by the Court of Appeal’s judgment. Clearly, our clients were right to take the legal battle this far, not least because the local council originally refused planning permission and the fracking industry’s chances were only saved by central government intervention.

“Our clients are in the process of considering whether to appeal.

“Meanwhile, with Ireland and Scotland having already banned fracking, surely it is time for the Westminster government to review its out-of-step ringing endorsement of fracking. All of this comes in the light of calls for fracking in the UK to be suspended, if we are to have any hope of meeting our Paris Agreement targets.

 “Evidence now shows renewable energy is a cheaper alternative to dirty fossil fuels, such as shale gas, so the economics as well as the political and legal arguments all stack up against fracking being the answer to the domestic energy crisis.”

Long-running planning battle

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Preston New Road, 25 October 2017. Photo: Alan Finney

Today’s judgement is the latest stage in a planning battle between Lancashire and Cuadrilla dating back to two and a half years.

Lancashire County Council refused planning permission for the site in June 2015. Cuadrilla appealed and the case went to a public inquiry in 2016. Mr Javid overruled the council and granted planning permission, on the recommendation of a planning inspector.

In 2017, PNRAGand Mr Frackman brought individual statutory challenges in the High Court against Mr Javid’s decision but lost.

They then took their case to the Appeal Court at a hearing in August 2017.

PNRAG argued that Cuadrilla’s plans did not comply with local and national planning policy and permission should have been refused. The group also said it had been treated unfairly at the public inquiry when Cuadrilla changed its position on a local policy on protecting the environment.

Mr Frackman had argued that permission for Preston New Road should have been refused because of uncertainties about the impact of fracking on health and what he said were the inadequacies of the regulatory regime.

His legal team also argued that Cuadrilla should have – but hadn’t – estimated the greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the burning of gas to be piped into local homes and businesses during the extended flow testing phase at Preston New Road.

What the judges said

In the case brought by Preston New Road Action Group, the appeal court judges said that the Secretary of State had not misunderstood or misapplied local planning policies.

The judges dismissed PNRAG’s arguments on Policy CS5 of the Lancashire minerals core strategy, DM2, of the Lancashire minerals local plan and paragraph 109 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

The court also ruled that there had not been any breach of procedural fairness at the public inquiry after Cuadrilla changed its position about policy EP11 of the Fylde Local Plan.

On Mr Frackman’s case, the judges ruled that Cuadrilla’s environmental statement was not flawed by the lack of an assessment on the effects of greenhouse gas emissions in the extended flow testing phase. They said the assessment had been undertaken “at the earliest possible stage”.

They also ruled that the contention was mistaken that the Secretary of State had taken account of the potential benefits of shale gas production but not the harm it would cause to the environment.

The court rejected the arguments that the Secretary of State had erred by failing to apply the precautionary principle, assuming that relevant regulatory regimes would operate as they should and in his consideration of the possible effects on human health.

Cuadrilla reaction

In a statement issued in the past few minutes, Cuadrilla’s Chief Executive, Francis Egan, said:

“We are very pleased that the Court of Appeal has robustly dismissed both challenges on all the grounds presented, as well as dismissing requests for further appeal. The same challenges were previously dismissed by the High Court in a similarly detailed judgement made in April 2017.

We have always remained confident that that the planning consent would stand, particularly after such a lengthy and thorough review of the application and positive recommendations for approval by both the professional Planning Officers at Lancashire County Council and subsequently an experienced Planning Inspector.

As our lawful planning consent remains in place, even whilst the Court of Appeal case was heard, operations on site have continued to progress well. We have successfully completed our data acquisition programme in the shale and will commence drilling the horizontal sections of the first of two initial wells this weekend. Local businesses and workers in Lancashire continue to benefit from the significant investment and jobs that our operations are bringing to the county.”

Other reaction

Frack Free Lancashire

“We are hugely disappointed that these appeals were dismissed today. We remain resolute and determined to counter and challenge any plans for fracking in Lancashire and beyond, and additionally, continuing to support those communities who are subjected to this industry being forced upon them.

 “Public opposition to this filthy technology continues to grow, as does our willpower to fight this insidious industry which poses far too many risks to our health, environment and ultimately our climate change targets.

“The fight continues.”

Lancashire for shale

“We are very pleased with the decision of the Court of Appeal. It means that Cuadrilla can continue its operations, which have already ploughed around £5 million into the local economy in just a year.

“However, it’s not just potential suppliers that stand to benefit from a successful shale gas industry here.

“One way or another, Lancashire’s 52,000-strong business community relies on a secure and affordable supply of gas, but most of that gas is currently imported. As the unexpected outages in December showed, our dependency on gas from overseas leaves businesses vulnerable to supply shortages and price spikes. “It’s vital that we get on with securing more of our own, affordable gas, and Cuadrilla’s work in Lancashire is an important first step in doing just that.”

 

78 replies »

  1. Not to worry there will be plenty more opportunities to take the fight to them at every new planning application.
    It was always a long shot when planning permission has already been given but well worth a try.
    If we a there and in their face then its always worth the time and effort effort.

    • Nope, the fact that this has been so clearly rejected is a legal precedent that establishes law making it even more difficult to overturn.
      It seems that planning permission will be taken out of local authorities hands anyway as it really seems quite stupid to have ill informed people blocking a perfectly safe and well researched activity.

    • It looks like society is just going to have to deal with the fact that they have a gargantuan-sized natural resource beneath their feet in the north. This means getting used to more jobs and wealth. It also means having to cope with cleaner air as coal and imported gas are replaced with lower emission domestic gas. It means that locals are going to have to stomach some more coins in their pocket now and then. It also means that people across the country will have to accept stable, low electricity prices versus the much higher prices seen in countries that have pursued renewables aggressively. Those who live in or near fuel poverty will have to accept that they are better able to afford heating their homes with domestic natural gas vs relying on foreign gas or renewables. And foreign diplomats will have to get used to not having to present themselves on bended knee to the emirs in the middle east or their comrades in the soviet union. It will be tough, but people will get by!

      • ‘It looks like society is just going to have to deal with the fact that they have a gargantuan-sized natural resource beneath their feet in the north’

        And here is a proven gargantuan-sized complete failure

        Six years ago, Poland was seen as the industry’s best hope for a fracking bonanza within the European Union.

        The US Energy Information Administration had estimated Poland could have gas reserves of up to 5.3 trillion cubic metres, and the Polish government was enthusiastic about developing a shale gas industry.

        But those hopes evaporated in the face of disappointing drilling results, falling oil prices, regulatory hassles, and environmental protests.

        The oil supermajors like Chevron and Exxon Mobil that had piled into the country pulled back again, and by late 2016 even the state-owned Polish firms effectively gave up on shale gas.

        Cuadrilla tried to join up with a Russian controlled company but that failed.

        Gargantuan resource, gargantuan hype, gargantuan failure

      • I love the fairyland myth about the air-cleaning gas fields. The benefits only apply if you’re using nat gas to replace power gen by dirty old coal-fired plants…. it applies in a few areas of the States only. It won’t in Britain, the reverse will be true.

        [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

        • Philip P, the thing is that it has already happened to a large extent in Britain using imported gas. Domestic gas creates less emissions that foreign gas. It’s all good brother! Winning!

          • Except to build new gas fields when England has completely phased out coal, by 2025, and so growing long range dependency on those (given that the investment only makes sense if taking a long term view) it is just growing the UK’s carbon footprint – besides the other environmental impacts. It’s lose lose. England will then be playing poor, dirty couzin to all the other nations who’ve streaked ahead with newer cleaner energy schemes.

      • Vernon. Our planet’s climate changes and you can throw in as many warm or cold spells as you want; when discussing global warming, but it’s about the human contribution to this warming that escalates the effect. The Earth has coped with extremes over time and will itself survive. It’s little ol’ homo sapiens (not so wise at the moment) who will will tip themselves into extinction by not recognizing the effect of the current climb + human contribution.

        I, for one would prefer to survive, my family and their families. I am prepared to make drastic changes; look out into the countryside and see wind turbines, solar roofs on houses, walk and cycle a little more, dump the insane plastic packaging to keep the effects to the minimum.

        Others want to pump up the fossil fuel volume, make a quick buck and bugger everyone else.

        Which one are you?

  2. Dear Kev, Emissions? Cuadrilla admitted they used 1000 gallons of diesel A DAY when doing the small test fracks off the vertical well at Preese Hall in 2011. Information supplied to Eric Ollerenshaw, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood at that time. Nasty stuff and it won’t travel to the site on a magic carpet. So for how many days, weeks, months do they plan to frack?

    Even more heavy haulage besides diesel to come — massive pumps to be be brought to the site in convoys like travelling circuses and many thousands of tonnes of frac sand also ….. and who can manufacture the cement and the miles of pipes without contributing greenhouse gases? And then there’s the emissions of methane leaking from fracking, a very potent greenhouse gas.

    But I agree it is ludicrous shipping fracked gas from the USA to Grangemouth for INEOS to make plastic.
    I have a suggestion — take all our waste plastic by ships to Grangemouth and require Jim Ratcliffe to dispose of it carefully and without any greenhouse gas emissions..

    • Heavy trucks Muriel? Whether you like it or not the UK imports 70% of its food by truck. Better ban that as well them so that people starve.

        • Good report John. That’s a lot of trucking! Now that HVHF laterals will be a lot longer (2 miles or more) and there are many more fracking stages these days – from when that report was compiled – there will be lot more trucking still. Just remember though that the locals are being compensated by around (on average) £2.80/month per household or about 70p per week – roughly 20p for each family member to put up with all the disruption for the next 13 years. So they won’t mind. 🙂

    • ‘I have a suggestion — take all our waste plastic by ships to Grangemouth and require Jim Ratcliffe to dispose of it carefully and without any greenhouse gas emissions..’
      Great idea Muriel 🙂

      • Vernon, you just need to recognise that the climate scientists and the earth systems scientists that study these things are very thorough now at relating the patterns (and causes) to the ups and downs of solar maxima/minima and periods of volcanism, basalt floods etc (re. ice ages and hot/cold periods) and these are the same scientists who agree that the current climate change anomalies are being caused by anthropogenic global warming – chiefly due to greenhouse gases. If you read down the report it states “The finding does not change our understanding of the warming power of carbon dioxide. In fact, it shows that human CO2 emissions have interrupted a long cooling period that would ultimately have delivered the next ice age.” One interesting point to note is that this is mentioned by Arthur C Clarke back in the late 1950’s – the speculation that global warming might help stave off the next ice age. Things are meant to be getting colder now according to the Milankovitch cycles and there is predicted to be a Maunder minimum (of solar output) around the 2030s and 40s. But the present warming is heading for a dangerous overshoot (current extremes of both hot and cold aside). The Maunder minimum might be just enough to buy humanity enough time to get things under control – but all carbon emissions have to stop asap or our planet will barely be habitable by the end of the century.

        [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

  3. Even better news for Cuadrilla and for the UK economy. I truly hope the exploration exceeds all expectations. Let’s see much more as soon as possible please!

  4. We will be importing more than 70% of our food if fracking goes ahead and damages prime agricultural land and the water…where is the stability in that. The people said no they have been ignored what of democracy?

    • You have a very good point about the food Christine.

      One of the pro-frackers ‘arguments’ is self sufficient energy. As we already have this if we increase renewable generation coupled with minimum use of the North Sea reserves, using the technologies emerging over the next couple of years, we should indeed abandon shale and concentrate on making our island’s population food needs especially in the light of Brexit.

      We are currently a net importer of food and yet have one of the best land and climatein the temperate zone to grow our own. I believe the only reason the Romans stayed in what they termed ‘inhospitable environment’ (compared to the sunny climes of Italy!). Covering it in fracking pads and seeping pollution from these, emitting more carbon and increasing the temperature of the planet, all goes against our self sufficiency.

      Unfortunately the governance are in the denial stage with a small number of individuals influencing the outcome of the many. For over seven years many intelligent and altruistic people have urged the sensible option of not starting this industry at all, for many reasons which have been voiced on here so many times. However, as history shows us we have to enter the ‘mistake’ stage and beyond that ‘it’s not my fault’ and finally, ‘shit, did we really do that!’

      I enjoy the fact that the pro-frackers are now crowing….not long now before the ‘mistakes’ gets bigger and the real outcry erupts.

    • Yes, Christine, since the US began fracking they have become completely reliant on imports to feed the country. Oh, wait a minute. No, I got confused. In fact the o&g industry has operated alongside agricultural operations all across the country without any detrimental impact. Shale gas has led to a massive windfall in public health gains as the country has vastly reduced its dependence on coal which has reduced the amount of particulate matter, mercury, sox, nox, and co2 from the air. It’s all good, baby!

      • ‘In fact the o&g industry has operated alongside agricultural operations all across the country without any detrimental impact’ more legends shrouded in mist and sorcery…

      • Boy, that really is confused EKT! Firstly “the o&g industry has operated alongside agricultural operations all across the country without any detrimental impact” … not according to the evidence (you don’t have to look far for that!). “Shale gas has led to a massive windfall in public health gains” … er, like increased hospitalisations in fracking areas and complaints about health impacts and water impurities by the thousand. Next “the country has vastly reduced its dependence on coal” … England will have phased out coal fired power plants completely by the time gas production from shale gets anywhere here (if it does at all) so gas fields here will be adding to carbon emissions and other pollutants, not displacing worse ones. “It’s all good baby”… don’t get me started on to the delicate subject of birth defects and other long-term health exposure risks: http://www.boulderweekly.com/news/warning-oil-and-gas-development-may-be-hazardous-to-your-health/

        • Philip, care to provide any evidence that supports claims that fracking has caused systemic damage to food supplies or water? Thought not! And the only reason England is getting rid of coal plants is by A) burning American forests in the form of wood pellets to Drax and B) importing fracked gas from elsewhere! Every single study you cite has been shown to be poor science and has not proven causality.
          Oooooops! Winning!

          • EKT you know as well as I do that anyone hiding behind the phrase ‘fracking has not caused systemic damage’ is a prime piece of evasive, semantic shtick. Sorry to back you into a corner. Anyone can find abundant references to the problems I’m pointing to.

            • “prime piece of evasive, semantic shtick” or scientific method Philip? Then again, when you’ve got an emotional witch hunt, who needs the scientific method?

            • The ‘scientific method’ you mention belongs to the church of fossil fuel misinformation unfortunately. There’s a whole cadre of professional misinformers believing their shtick to be a magic wand that will make everything standing in the way of returns on corporate profits disappear. Some are so convincing that they’ve even convinced themselves that they are right. Sadly the ability to tell right from wrong disappears in the same process.

            • So, I guess in your little world, Philip, you can ban anything if it correlates with anything undesirable. I understand that more people near fracking sites report asthma, birth defects, and cancer after eating egg salad sandwiches. Obviously egg salad and fracking both need to be banished! Of course I’m not sure how they will be banned, because it was recently shown that people who attend hearings on banning anything have been shown to fall down the stairs on the tuesday afternoon after the hearing 14% more often. What on earth shall we do?

            • Thanks EKT, it is helpful of you to let people know in advance about the kind of language you people use to belittle and mock those who raise the issues that have afflicted so many citizens in gas field zones. If you actually take the trouble to read through some of those anecdotal stories (from the link – there are hundreds of others) and try and understand why people feel trapped and powerless to do anything about their situation (if they don’t have the means to move away) once exposed to noxious emissions, polluted water or incessant trucking activity, then you may be able to appreciate how mental health issues can be added to the list list as well.

      • Please don’t make silly comments . Why would we have to import more food ? A fracking site takes up less than an acre of land and very often they are situated in non agricultural land

        • Vernon an acre is 0.4 hectares. Cuadrilla’s fracking pad is 2.6 hectares (6.4 acres) and the surface works on the site are 9.9 ha (25 acres).

          Please do a little bit of research [edited by moderator]

      • Easy to say Shewulf, but a little short on fact. How do you propose to change from oil and gas overnight ? Renewables are already proceeding at a pace.Pray do tell us you solution where every car and bus and aeroplane and ship and a majority of the ovens and cookers in the free world is to be changed overnight, and if you would be happy to pay twice as much in income tax along with all of the other tax payers in the uk, to pay for your plan ?

        • Vernon, you really need to read the comments I post. The answers to your questions are already in there…..[Edited by moderator]

  5. how do they arrive at an increase in emissions to the atmosphere as surely there will be no difference all that will change is we will be using locally sourced as opposed to imported. it these nimbys are so concerned for the environment. then I suggest they all run home & turn off their heating. & stop using their cars. then they can say they’re helping the environment. otherwise, shut the fck up.

    • Simple. Stop creating new gas-fields, and hence future dependency on them, and help run down existing supplies while alternative means are developed. It’s not just about emissions, there are other human and environmental impacts (magnified in densely populated area like the UK).

    • gasman.
      If the heating is generated from clean sources, there is no need to ‘run’ home and turn it off, only if it is powered by fossil fuel, in which case good insulation and minimal use will suffice for now. Switch here to make a difference.
      https://www.goodenergy.co.uk/

      Switching to an electric vehicle will go someway to improving the carbon emissions, but until the price is within reach (coming very soon) and the power supplied is clean (pointless charging up from fossil fuel generation) then minimizing journey will be a contribution.

      Many of those you describe as ‘nimbys’ are already helping the environment in ways they can. Once the governance gets their heads out of their proverbial asses than ALL, including you, can access clean energy and not only help their environment but the planet and the future of homo ‘sapiens’ (unfortunately a small number of which are not very ‘wise’ at the moment).

      Shouting abuse at people who care about where they live, planet and people only shows you are the opposite.

      This post came from a computer powered by wind 🙂

      • Yeah. Your computer maybe generated by wind power but to build that wind power they are all using one kind of fossil or another either for transportation or components and materials. The computer itself is a result of fossil fuel. Modern society rely on fossil fuel in one wsy or another. We need to reduce and use it effectively and efficiently but to say let wean off now and completely is disingenuous and falsehood.

        • ‘We need to reduce and use it effectively and efficiently’ ehhh that’s what I said TW; keep up.

          When referring to energy consumption again pro ‘fossil fueler’ spit out ‘If you don’t want it don”t use it’ just like a child who has been told you don’t want to play with them any more….adults talk about sensible reduction and keeping reserves in the ground, not adding to the problem to satisfy a bunch of sad investors who have been conned by the investment bankers…

          And yes, the turbine has been produced by fossil fuels, increasingly less I am pleased to say, but a good use as this provides sustainable energy for more years than a quick burn.

          Modern society does not rely on fossil fuel, it is in fact addicted to energy, particularly electricity. It’s how we generate this that is important. For the avoidance of doubt, we are being weaned off fossil fuel generation and sooner than you believe. Remember the shale is not about energy for heating or electricity, if there at all, but about the ethane to make more plastic to pollute the planet even more.

  6. Plastic doesn’t pollute the planet, it is silly humans who fail to dispose of their waste properly. Silly comments about returning plastic to Grangemouth are just nonsense. If plastic was collected and managed why send it to Grangemouth? It is the fact that it is not collected and managed that is the problem-ask any litter picker. Once (if) it is collected and managed there is no problem, disposal is straight forward.
    But once again, the antis are so short of factual information, they have used up all the previous scare stories, they just wish to try and create a new one.
    I suppose that is indicative of the way debates go when one side is losing. Quite a good weather vane really.

    • ‘Plastic doesn’t pollute the planet, it is silly humans who fail to dispose of their waste properly.’ and even sillier humans who cover everything in the damn stuff in the first place and consumers who do not return the product to the supermarket which was supposed to be food, but when open was all plastic tray and air…….your lack of factual reality does not make any mention of non-recyclable plastic, micro plastics and washing from clothes ingested into fish and ultimately the human food chain.

      There is no ‘side’ here Martin, we are all human, we all breathe and feed the same. If we continue in this narrative we will no longer exist; pension or no. Your narrative is flawed. It is based on greed.

  7. Martin is hoping that by saying something like ‘the antis are short of factual information’ that people will believe it as if he was stating a fact. I don’t think you know Martin that only about 5% of plastics get recycled effectively and disposal is a huge problem. That’s why the Chinese are refusing further shipments of waste from the UK and why it’s in the press so much at present. Nuclear waste disposal is a huge problem too and so is flow-back waste from fracking operations.. I don’t think anyone believes for one minute that you have all the answers, no matter how authoritative you think you sound.

  8. More whinging about something that is down to antisocial behaviour in this country and somewhat different in others. Certainly, deal with the antisocial behaviour in this country and legislate where necessary (microbeads) Banning things seems to be the fall back position.

    Disposal of plastics are not a huge problem in this country PhilipP, it is the people who buy single use plastic and do not bother to recycle it. I am stating a fact, as I clear it out of my ditch every day, discarded by passing motorists. I walk my dog with others (daily) who are litter pickers and they collect several large (black plastic) bags of it every few days down a 0.25 kilometer road. By patronising other posters on this site I’m not convinced you take your argument further, but hey ho, if that is the how you wish to proceed it’s your choice. I recognise that there needs to be new demonization of Ineos as the traditional means of protest are somewhat diluted through injunctions and deep pockets. New “excitement” means have to be sought.

    Sherwulfe-don’t be silly. My narrative is not based on greed it is based on responsibility. People can buy products not packed in plastic (they have a choice-often). If they buy product packed in plastic it is their responsibility to dispose of it correctly. No different from when items were packed (largely) in paper packaging, except that paper disposal was a little easier. It now being more difficult with regard to plastic doesn’t make it an excuse for anyone to feel their responsibility is removed.
    How about trying to ban shopping on line, that would reduce plastic packaging no end? Good luck with that.

    • A little (true) story.
      A man goes into a supermarket. He buys his groceries for the week. He is fed up of plastic and wasteful packaging (of all kinds) so removes all the mainly plastic crap and gives it back to the checkout girl. The manager is called and the said customer is asked to take back the packaging. He refuses as he states his case that it is the supermarket’s responsibility to recycle the packaging as most of the items in his shopping had their own natural packaging e.g apples and bananas and did not indeed need a further layer of toxic plastic. At this point the man was asked to leave and instructed not to return to the store unless he was happy to take away the packaging.

      Well yes, he paid for it, sold as part of the food ‘deal’ to make a little extra profit (how much is it for a kilo of plastic compared to a kilo of bananas?) But there was no option or compromise or ability to purchase said items plastic free. I addition more than enough boxes of brightly coloured ‘nudge psychology’ purchases in plastic boxes, of course, hung around the tills professing to be something good to eat whilst actually filled with killer sugar….

      Are we there yet?
      Some of us are.

  9. Laudable ethics as far as they go Martin. But is that going far enough? The questions being raised now go beyond the recycling bin. Besides, many do not have the option to buy plastic free packaging. I see you’re an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff kind of guy instead of the read-the-warning person. I’d personally like to see most supermarkets offering plastics free aisles (at least one beyond the loose fruit & veg sections).
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/07/chinese-plastics-ban-threatens-council-tax-rise/
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/china-plastic-import-ban-uk-recycling-landfill-options-waste-crisis-disposal-a8097166.html#gallery

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