An award-winning business leader from Wishaw has backed plans by a Lanarkshire MSP for a tough new law to clampdown on environmental crimes.

Jo Chidley, founder and owner of Beauty Kitchen was a keynote speaker at the launch of Monica Lennon’s consultation on making ecocide a crime in Scotland.

Under the plans, those found guilty of environmental destruction could face a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years, with the option of fines for corporations.

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The MSP says introducing tough criminal sanctions will create a strong deterrent, with the aim of changing behaviours and preventing severe damage to nature and the environment.

Ms Lennon said: “As a trailblazing business leader Jo Chidley has proved that the pursuit of profit needn’t destroy the planet.

Monica Lennon MSP and Jo Chidley on the Q&A panel at the Bill's launch event

“I am thrilled that industry voices are speaking up for ecocide law because climate and nature crisis is bad for business, jobs and our communities.

“Big polluters undermine responsible businesses, and I want to protect small and medium-sized firms and their workers from the devastating impact of eco-crime.

“I would encourage others to have their say by responding to the consultation at before 9 February 2024.”

The bid could see Scotland become the first nation in the UK to make acts of severe environmental damage a crime. Ecocide law was originally championed by Scottish barrister and environmentalist Polly Higgins who died in 2019.

Jo Chidley, who was awarded Net-Zero Business of the Year in 2022, said: delivered a speech at this week's launch added: “Unfortunately, waste makes profit, until that fundamentally changes, businesses like ours who place value in people and planet profit will sit at a disadvantage.

“A law against Ecocide can support this.”

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