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Disappointment over Labour's food waste landfill ban policy switch

A leading representative of the organics recycling industry has criticised Labour’s backtrack on banning food waste to landfill as “short-sighted”.

This week, Labour rejected any commitment to a ban after the Conservatives published a dossier claiming it would cost as much as £477m, almost all from a decline in landfill tax revenues.


Philip Simpson, left, commercial director at ReFood, said that changing policy on banning food waste to landfill because of a lack of revenue ignored any financial benefits gained.

“Changing tactics due to a lack of revenue from landfill tax is a short-sighted approach, ignoring the monies that could be raised by having a ban in place,” he said.

“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.”

Behavioural changes needed to minimise the squandering of food, which is a valuable resource, would be unachievable without wider Government support, he added.

As MRW reported in September 2013, Mary Creagh, the then shadow secretary of state for environment food and rural affairs, promised a ban on food waste during the Labour party conference. But Labour now says that is “out of date” and a ban will not be included in the party’s election manifesto.

Simpson said the announcement was “hugely disappointing news for the entire waste management sector”.

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