The head of the paper sector’s trade body has called for a ban on the incineration of recyclate and for reform of the UK’s relationship with the EU.
The Confederation of Paper Industries’ Manifesto for a Flourishing Paper Industry has put forward a series of policy goals ahead of the general election.
In a briefing note for MPs on latest developments in the sector, director general David Workman said the industry contributed some £6.5bn to the UK economy, but had the potential to grow more if the country created a more favourable environment for investment.
He said measures to promote the circular economy should include banning the disposal of recyclable materials through energy from waste and mandating the separate collections of recyclate to ensure high-quality standards.
He argued that recycling targets had to be agreed with industry and “not simply imposed to meet environmental aspirations.”
Workman also advised politicians against leaving the European Union. “We must remain within the EU if we are to continue to trade freely with our neighbours in Europe and to attract the type of investment needed to grow our manufacturing base,” he said.
However, he pointed out there was a need to reform the way environmental laws were conceived and implemented.
“Over the last five years, there have been over 2,300 new directives and regulations to emerge from Brussels and the paper industry faces over 130 new environmental targets to be achieved by 2050,” he said. “This level of top down micromanagement has got to stop.”
Workman also reiterated his calls for an energy policy that would ensure security of supply and the competitiveness of energy-intensive industries such as papermaking.