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Six-year-old who wants end to plastic waste in oceans receives response from Prime Minister

A six-year-old with a dream to remove all plastics from the ocean received a response from the Prime Minister after he wrote her a letter.

Leonardo Stephen, who goes to St Edmund Campion school, wrote Theresa May a letter in May asking if the Government could do more to clean up rubbish and protect sea wildlife.

A few weeks later, the Prime Minister wrote him a letter back explaining some of the measures that the Government has made to reduce plastic waste, like introducing the 5p plastic bag charge and mooting a ban of plastic straws.

Leo, who lives in Burchetts Green, has now helped to start a petition with the group Kids Against Plastic, with the aim of getting one million children and teenagers in the UK to sign and pledge to use fewer plastics.

Leo’s mother, Rachela Leonello, said: “He was really proud, he couldn’t quite believe it. I had to prepare him for the possibility that he might not get a response, or that he might get a response from someone that wasn’t the Prime Minister.”

After watching the BBC series Blue Planet II last year, the youngster has started to dedicate his life to saving wildlife from plastics, persuading his parents and his classmates to get more involved.

Rachela said: “He became quite obsessed with the show and quite depressed about it. He has been talking about giving up meat and becoming a vegan.”

On a trip to Brighton with his family last month, Leo spent a few hours in 30-degree heat cleaning rubbish from the beach. His good deed did not go unnoticed, and an ice cream vendor on the pier gave him a free ice cream to thank him for his hard work.

To try and draw more attention to the issue of plastic waste in the seas and oceans, Leo has helped to start a petition and hopes one million children in the UK will sign it. He believes that if enough children sign the petition, the Government will take notice and bring forward their plans to reduce plastic waste.

To see the petition visit: bit.ly/2mHWI6v

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