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Getting the right waste message across

We’ve noted in these pages in the past that some national newspapers appear to have a strong agenda against that part of our industry exporting waste and generating much-needed income for this country. So it is good to see something of a fight-back by those on the front line.

The Recycling Association (RA) has formed an export sub-group involving merchants, waste management companies and those directly dealing with significant markets such as China. An initial meeting last week identified the aim of redressing “some negative and anti-export sentiment” in the media. Among the offenders, it appears, is the Daily Mail. MRW reported in April that Defra, as well as the RA, accused the paper of spreading confusion and myths in its latest article on the subject. The clue was in the headline: The great recycling con trick: how 12 million tons of your carefully sorted waste is being dumped in foreign landfill sites.

The new group plans to educate politicians, decision makers and the general public on what happens when recyclables are exported. MRW would hope to assist in that goal because we cannot, as a country, afford to allow misinformation – or a lack of information - to hamper the waste industry.

The need for clear messages also applies to the Government’s strategy on renewables. On Tuesday, energy secretary Edward Davey announced DECC’s opposition to setting EU-wide renewable energy goals for 2030. He backs “ambitious emissions reduction target” but insists on “a technology neutral approach to how individual countries meet their emissions targets”.

Understandably, and not for the first time, the Renewable Energy Association cries foul, accusing ministers of failing to encourage would-be investors who seek greater certainly over policy and strategy.

As with the RA, messaging is key.

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