Speaking at the Labour Party Annual Conference 2013 in Brighton earlier this week, Mary Creagh MP confirmed Labour’s intention to introduce a ban on food to landfill should they be successful at the 2015 general election.

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Creagh said:

“A one nation Labour government will ban food from landfill so that less food gets wasted in the supermarket supply chain and more food gets eaten by hungry children.”

In a speech for the Conservative’s policy on food, Creagh, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, confirmed that Labour will insist upon better labelling in supermarkets including increased levels of food regulation, stating that deregulation gave us horse meat in our burgers.”

Creagh’s speech builds upon the strong environmental stance set out by the Labour in its ‘Resource Security: Growth and jobs from the waste industries’ released this April, in which Labour singled out the waste industry as vital to enhancing the economy, adding that there is an vital need to improve design and packaging and ensuring that the UK continues to remain at the forefront in waste management technologies.

Steve Lee, CIWM chief executive said:

“The current debate about banning food waste to landfill highlights the seriousness of the issue. In addition to the cost to both society and the environment of discarded food that could have been consumed, the need to reduce the amount of biodegradable waste going to landfill continues to be a strong policy driver.”

 He went onto say:

“In the short term, we need to strengthen our efforts to raise awareness about the environmental and economic costs of food waste and ensure we have the right infrastructure to extract value from unavoidable food waste. In the medium term, we expect to see further policy measures across the UK governments to tackle this waste stream.”

At the Labour party’s annual conference in Brighton yesterday (September 22), a suggestion was also made by Ms Creagh  that her party rise regulations on food throughout the supply chain if it wins the 2015 general election.

The shadow Defra minister told conference delegates:

“A One Nation Labour government will ban food from landfill so that less food gets wasted in the supermarket supply chain and more food gets eaten by hungry children.”

 The statement confirms that Labour has chosen to pursue the policy, which originally had been proposed by Ms Creagh in January 2013 at a packaging conference, during which time she stated that Labour was ‘seriously considering’ a ban on food waste to landfill as part of its 2015 election manifesto.

Ms Creagh has called for a ‘revolution’ in the way people perceive food waste. She also explained that waste prevention measures for food would prioritize human consumption for any edible food waste, followed by usage in animal feed, and lastly anaerobic digestion for foods which cannot be consumed.

She also added that the UK needed a stronger reprocessing sector in order to provide a sustainable supply of raw materials for manufacturing and reduce the dependence on waste exports.

Recycling targets

More details of Labour’s proposed landfill ban on food as well as other policies on waste and recycling still need to be revealed – even though the party has published a ‘discussion document’ in April which sketched a number of its priority areas for waste and recycling, including amongst others setting recycling targets that are more challenging and in line with the Welsh and Scottish governments.

Furthermore, the review document ‘Resource security: jobs and growth from waste’ – suggested that a Labour government would seek to reform the Packaging Waste Recovery Note (PERN) system, which it said incentivizes businesses to export poor quality recyclables overseas.

Launched by shadow Defra ministers Ms Creagh and Gavin Shuker in London, the review also hinted that Labour may seek to provide incentives for businesses that design products which can easily be reused or recycled.

CIWM

Responding to Ms Creagh’s comments, Steve Lee, chief executive of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), said:

 “The current debate about banning food waste to landfill highlights the seriousness of the issue. In addition to the cost to both society and the environment of discarded food that could have been consumed, the need to reduce the amount of biodegradable waste going to landfill continues to be a strong policy driver.

“In the short term, we need to strengthen our efforts to raise awareness about the environmental and economic costs of food waste and ensure we have the right infrastructure to extract value from unavoidable food waste. In the medium term, we expect to see further policy measures across the UK governments to tackle this waste stream.”

GPT Waste offers a basic Waste Review Service free of charge.  Find out how they can help your business deal more effectively with your waste: Call 0844 854 5000 or email here.

 Reference:

Let’s Recycle

CIWM

You’re Britain

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