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Valpak asks if DTI can help recyclers with energy prices...

The Government has told packaging recycling organisation Valpak that it cannot do anything to help reprocessors hit by rocketing energy prices.

Valpak had written to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to ask it to clarify its position over energy prices following concern from reprocessors.

However, in a written response, the DTI said: “The DTI are fully aware of the tough conditions that high energy users are operating in and are working closely with industry to mitigate the situation, and reduce the impact of high gas prices on industrial customers.

“However, the Government cannot intervene in what is a competitive and free market and individual pricing decisions are therefore a matter for each of the energy companies.”

Valpak has highlighted firms such as paper and board manufacturer St Regis Paper Company, recycler and manufacturer British Polythene Industries and steelmaker Corus that have all expressed concern over high energy prices.

Valpak chief executive Steve Gough said: “Although recycling generally saves considerable amounts of energy over virgin material production, reprocessors are still major energy users and have been hit hard.

“Everyone knows that prices have gone through the roof, but we feel that there is an artificial distortion between energy prices here, in the rest of Europe and elsewhere.

“The DTI has assured us that there is a policy commitment to provide a market framework to deliver security of supply. The Government is also calling for full European market liberalisation, which should enable gas to move more freely throughout the EU.”

Valpak is calling on reprocessors and other interested parties to participate in the Government’s energy review before it closes on April 14. It can be found at www.dti.gov.uk/energy/review/

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