Last week, our Labour mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced that he would be standing on an ambitious but absolutely vital policy of making London a carbon-neutral city by 2030. Along with others, I campaigned and petitioned for this, and so it was great to see it become a key part of Labour’s policy framework for London in the upcoming elections.

Despite this, however, we still have a long way to go before we can look the upcoming generation in the eye and say, ‘We did everything we could to clean up the environment and leave you with a sustainable planet’. Locally, we have only to look at the Beddington incinerator to see an example of how the waste we continue to produce contributes to poor air quality and bad health outcomes. Regardless of how ‘cleanly’ our local rubbish is burned – and the evidence on this is mixed, to say the least – the most important thing we can focus on is reducing the amount of waste in the first place.

That’s why I’m lobbying for Sadiq to set out, in his detailed Green New Deal plan for London, a roadmap for how we also get our capital to become a zero-waste city. There is already loads that we as individuals can do to support this goal, from planning our meals better to avoid generating food waste, to avoiding buying disposable water bottles. To really effect major change, however, governments – locally and nationally – as well as individuals, need to act decisively. That’s why I want to see Labour in London setting a high bar for the rest of the UK to follow in cleaning up our city. Setting the goal of becoming a zero-waste society is a key part of doing that. Croydon Council has a strong track record of driving up recycling rates but there is still a great deal of work to be done.

The Beddington Lane incinerator is intended to be operational in burning our rubbish (as well as that of other boroughs) for another 25 years. I, for one, want to see it become redundant and unnecessary long before then. That’s why I’m calling for Sadiq Khan to commit to a zero-waste strategy for London as part of the fight against air pollution and climate change.

If you want to know more, or have any questions about my policies on the environment and other issues which affect Croydon and Sutton pthen lease don’t hesitate to get in touch by replying to this email, on 07957 981497, on on Twitter (@RowennaDavis) and Facebook. For more information about my local campaigns on knife crime, food poverty and air quality, please visit www.rowennadavis.co.uk.