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Labour promises ban on food to landfill

A Labour government would introduce a landfill ban on food waste, the shadow secretary for environment has said, reiterating the party’s commitment to the policy.

Mary Creagh

Speaking at the Labour party’s annual conference in Brighton on 22 September, Mary Creagh (left) said that an executive led by Ed Miliband would increase regulations on food, including imposing landfill restrictions on food waste.

“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,” she said.

Creagh had already proposed introducing such a ban at a food packaging conference in January this year. She also mentioned that a food consumption hierarchy would be established - with people at the top and anaerobic digestion at the bottom - to set out priorities in the food system.

But a waste policy review launched by Creagh and shadow waste minister Gavin Shuker in April lacked of any detail on landfill bans on specific materials. In an interview with MRW, Shuker said that his party was not backtracking from the proposal and maintained he was “very warm” about outlawing food waste from landfill.

Research conducted by the Green Alliance, an environmental think tank, has found that £2.5bn worth of food, textiles, wood, and plastics could be recovered if they were subjected to a landfill ban similar to the bans on cars and waste electronics.

Industry figures took to Twitter to express their scepticism of the policy, however:

In her Labour conference speech, Creagh also railed against the coalition Government’s stance on environmental deregulation as a whole. She said: “If there’s one thing this Government enjoys, it’s getting rid of environmental regulations.”

“David Cameron’s drive to deregulate the food industry, coupled with his cost of living crisis created the perfect conditions for the horsemeat scandal,” she added.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Having provided the leadership in the sense of setting the goal, I hope the Labour Party will work closely with the waste industry and local authorities to work out the best way to make it happen - it has to involve ways to reduce arisings, collection infrastructure and reprocessing capacity with achievable deadlines.

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