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Stewart: 'We learn from Scotland and Wales'

The new resource minister Rory Stewart has said that the UK government has learnt from the best practice on recycling in the devolved administrations.

Stewart was speaking in a Parliamentary debate on coastal flood risk when he told MPs the matter was “a fully devolved issue, but one on which we can learn from each other”.

He went on: “One of the great advantages of devolution has been the opportunity to look at each other’s approaches, particularly for my department.

“The environment was one of the earliest things to be devolved, so we have been able to learn from Wales on recycling and from Zero Waste Scotland”.

Separately, Stewart said a law focused on the redistribution of surplus food from supermarkets would not resolve the barriers to redistribution.

In reply to a written question, he said Defra favoured the voluntary approach: “Less than 2% of overall food waste is from supermarkets, so our approach is to work with the whole supply chain through the voluntary Courtauld Commitment.

“The amount of food redistributed in the UK under the Commitment doubled between 2011 and 2013.”

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