Labour seeks higher recycling targets and improved quality in policy review


An advanced waste strategy can play a vital role in securing the economic recovery, creating manufacturing jobs and laying the foundations for sustainable growth, according to the Labour Party.

In a policy review document, Resource Security: Growth and jobs from waste industries, Labour has set out its vision of how recycling and waste policy can ensure finite natural resources are protected.


Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh said: “Environmental industries and green growth are essential to creating a sustainable economy.

“To ensure our future prosperity, we need to protect our natural resources and create new innovative approaches to reusing resources and cutting environmental waste.

“As part of Labour’s policy review, we are focussing on how we generate sustainable growth and new jobs in and through the waste industry.”

Labour is looking at increasing recycling targets as part of the policy review and is seeking views on whether to align England with Scotland and Wales to achieve 70 per cent recycling by 2025. Currently, the Government wishes to meet the target of recycling 50 per cent by 2020 as required by the European Union.

It is also looking to develop ‘fair trade’ recycling where our environmental commitments should not be met by exploiting poor people and children in developing nations.

Labour also intends to look at how quality of feedstock material can be improved and also to provide a level playing field for domestic recyclers who argue they are disadvantaged by the PERN system.

It is also considering whether it might be possible to reduce tuition fees for students that wish to enter the recycling industry, as well as developing the skills of those who don’t go to university, but could also contribute to an advanced resource economy.

SITA UK chief executive David Palmer-Jones welcomed the policy review. He said: “Labour has rightly grasped that managing resources efficiently is essential to the future health of our economy, as well as our environment.

“It’s now time for the coalition to make the circular economy a reality, because it makes simple business sense.”

For more on the Labour policy review, click here