Industry riled by Labour's backtrack on food waste

Labour’s U-turn on banning food waste to landfill is “hugely disappointing” news for the entire waste management sector, according to a leading expert in the field.

The opposition announced earlier this week that it will no longer consider imposing a ban on food waste sent to landfill as part of its 2015 election manifesto.

And Philip Simpson, commercial director at food waste service firm ReFood, said the behavioural changes required across businesses and authorities towards recycling were unachievable without wider government support.

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“Labour’s backtrack on banning food waste to landfill is hugely disappointing news for the entire waste management sector,” he said. “In the next five years, landfill sites across the UK will be nearing capacity, which makes minimising the volume of unnecessary waste and increasing recycling figures absolutely essential.

“By failing to implement proper legislation, England is falling behind other EU nations, including its UK counterparts, and this is simply due to a lack of support from those in power. Gaining clear commitment is a stumbling block we’ve been looking to overcome for a number of years now, but one that must be overcome in order to both meet waste targets and offset depleting landfill space.”

Simpson added that changing tactics due to a lack of revenue from landfill tax was a “short-sighted approach” that ignored the monies which could be raised by having a ban in place.

“In providing stimulation to a growing industry with a guarantee of feedstock, new businesses, more recycling contracts and more employment will generate their own taxes for the public purse,” he said.

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