Last week I joined the Prime Minister as she launched our 25-year environment plan, highlighting the actions we will take to leave our land, sea, air and natural habitats in a better state for the next generation.

The UK has always been a leader in understanding and protecting the natural environment, but the impact of our 'disposable' culture is being seen and felt right across the world – I know that I was not alone in thinking that things need to change fast when I watched the superb Blue Planet series (thanks BBC) and saw the global impact of plastic pollution on marine life.

We know we can change – as evidenced by the nine billion fewer plastic bags we have used since government introduced the plastic bag charge in 2015 – so it was great to hear about new ambitions like eliminating all avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042, practical policies like encouraging supermarkets to introduce plastic-free aisles, extending the 5p charge for plastic carrier bags to all retailers, and the start of consultations on how we increase the cost of the most environmentally damaging plastics, encourage recycling and reuse, perhaps through deposit schemes.

I have tried for years to avoid using plastic but have slipped recently and was therefore even more committed to start using my new reusable coffee cup (made of bamboo) which saved me 50p on my morning coffee!

I was also really pleased that this week the Prime Minister appointed Tracey Crouch MP as the dedicated Minister for Loneliness. This is one of a series of recommendations made by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness that we will be implementing in order to combat the growing problems of social isolation, which currently affects up to nine million people in the UK.

The rise of digital 'friendships' on social media and a decline in the sense of community spirit in some areas has meant that loneliness has become a sad reality of modern life for too many people, particularly young disabled adults – 85 per cent of whom report feeling lonely.

Jo Cox recognised the scale of the problem, and dedicated herself to helping those affected and I am so proud that this Government is committed to building on her legacy.

We are lucky in our area to have such supportive communities, great pubs, community cafés like the wonderful St Arbucks in Market Lavington, lunch clubs, Knit and Natter sessions, all sorts of things to help people come together – and hopefully put down their electronic devices and have a proper catch-up.