MPs and peers from across Parliament are joining Teddington charity Tearfund to tackle plastic pollution by pledging to make changes to their own lifestyles this Lent.

Zac Goldsmith is partnering with the international development charity to take part in plastic pledge to give up single use plastic for 40 days.

Zac Goldsmith said: “Cutting waste isn’t just an environmental issue, it’s essential if we are to adapt to a world where resources are rapidly becoming more expensive. We’ve had a century of cheap materials, but that era is coming to an end and we need to learn to be far more efficient.

"The UK spends £1 billion a year in landfill costs just to dispose of plastics, wood, textiles and food - and in the process destroys these valuable commodities. More than a third of food waste currently goes to landfill where it produces methane - a potent greenhouse gas.

"Much else – particularly plastic – ends up suffocating the natural world. Part of the solution is to dramatically increase recycling. But if we want a zero waste society (or something close to it) we must also put pressure on manufacturers to make products that last, and that can be easily recycled or repaired, and to quickly phase out single use plastics.

Tearfund works in over 50 of the world’s poorest countries alongside churches and local organisations helping individuals build a better future

Dr Ruth Valerio, Director of Advocacy and Global Influencing at Tearfund, said: “We work in some of the world’s most deprived countries and a big issue we often hear about is how waste and plastic pollution is having a detrimental impact on people’s lives.

“Globally two billion people don’t have their rubbish collected and this leads to disease and death for people in poverty.”

“Individuals making small changes to their lives in the UK shows we care, that we are aware of the damaging impact of single use plastic and are trying to make a positive change.”

Tearfund recently launched a new appeal to help tackle waste and plastic pollution in Pakistan. Until May 17, donations will be matched by the UK government, up to £2 million.

Donations to this appeal will help Tearfund transform lives around the world where the need is greatest.

Match funding from the UK government will be used by Tearfund's partners in Pakistan to set up innovative recycling hubs which will improve the lives of people in some of the poorest slum communities.

Ashraf Mall, Tearfund Country Representative for Pakistan, added: “Pakistan produces more than 20 million tonnes of rubbish each year and in cities like Karachi, two fifths remains uncollected.”

“This rubbish is either burnt in the street, thrown into rivers, often ending up in the ocean, or builds up and causes flooding and health problems.”

“The generous funding from the UK government will allow us to transform the daily lives of people living in Karachi and Hyderabad.”