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Public confidence in recycling a priority, says Kennedy

Environment Minister Jane Kennedy has told Parliament that maintaining public confidence in recycling is a priority, despite market concerns.

Responding to questions about the recycled materials market from MP Geoffrey Cox, Kennedy said her department was well informed on the matter, maintaining close contact with major players.

She said Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs priorities were based on such discussions.

Priorities Kennedy highlighted were:
* to further promote waste minimisation;
* to maintain public confidence that recycling is worthwhile to ensure continuity of collection systems for recyclables;
* to focus on producing high quality marketable recyclables;
* to ensure any storage of recyclables do not undermine the environment or public health or the recyclability of those materials;
* where the traditional markets for recyclables have contracted, to encourage the most sustainable recovery and disposal optionsi.e. landfill as a last resort; and
* to avoid actions which exacerbate the situation while markets stabilise.

Kennedy also said she had met packaging industry representatives on 17 December. An update on the new Government Packaging Strategy was expected before Christmasbut rumours are that the announcement wont be released until spring.

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