There has been a variety of responses from rural bodies to the government's 25 Year Environment Plan and the majority are requesting further detail.

NFU vice president Guy Smith suggested that plastic packaging could be replaced with biodegradable materials. He said: “Farming also offers innovative solutions to wider environmental challenges. For instance the government’s current concern with plastics highlighted by the BBC’s brilliant Blue Planet series could be met with substituting synthetic plastics with farm produced biodegradable starch-based packaging.

“But there must be a coherent approach. British farming has a unique role in producing a safe, affordable and high quality supply of food as well as protecting, maintaining and enhancing 70% of the nation's iconic countryside.

“That only remains feasible, however, as long as farmers run sustainable and viable businesses. We provide the raw materials for a domestic food industry that employs 3.8m people and which, as the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, generates £112bn in value for the UK economy. This is why we welcomed the Secretary of State’s commitment last week to create a national food policy and his recognition that food is at the heart of viable farming businesses."

CLA director of policy Christopher Price said: “The plan acknowledges the range of ‘public goods’ that are delivered across our countryside. It is farmers and landowners that deliver these ‘goods’ from investing in improving soil quality, to reducing flooding risks to homes and businesses and managing woodland. The government is showing that it is listening to us and the direction of travel set out holds significant potential.

“There is however much more work to be done to make these plans more specific and signal where the hard choices will be made. Much of what is proposed will require significant investment from a range of sources consistently delivered over decades."

The Soil Association responded to the plan by saying: "The 25 Year Environment Plan addresses important areas – including the vital need to restore soil health, reduce pesticide use, deliver the highest levels of animal welfare and restore farmland biodiversity – but we need to see further detail on the practical measures that will turn these aspirations into reality in the near future. A fundamental shift in farming systems is required as part of that: agroecological systems, such as organic, exemplify many of the agricultural practices described in the Plan and we urge government to recognise this by harnessing the full potential of these systems in the forthcoming command paper on the Agriculture Bill."

And finally, Green MEP Molly Scott Cato said: "The Tories plans are a tiny drop in a plastic filled ocean. Of course action to reduce plastic waste is welcome, but this provides a useful diversion from the many government policies that are trashing the environment. In particular the £5bn in subsidies to fossil fuels since 2010 and kick-starting a whole new fossil industry in fracking.

“Theresa May’s speech confirms that the Tories have trouble seeing the wood for the trees. What we need is systemic changes and an Environment Act that provides legally enforceable timelines and milestones."