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Let’s give praise where praise is due

Good news this week for many of our readers in an ICM poll, reported by the BBC, on public perceptions of how local authority services have fared despite heavy spending cuts.

Recycling services were viewed best of all: 12% said they had got worse while 48% thought they were better, giving a score of plus 36 percentage points - the biggest in the survey. On refuse collection, the finding is plus six. Real credit, then to our councils and waste management companies.

A Government reshuffle this week didn’t appear to impact on the waste sector but it was all change for Labour, though. Mary Creagh’s promotion from shadow environment secretary to transport is Ed Miliband’s reward for managing a wide-ranging brief well for three years. A key announcement came last month at the Labour conference when she outlined a firmer commitment to ban food from landfill - something we anticipate her successor Maria Eagle will stick to.

The role of WRAP’s relationship with policy-makers is explored in Chiara Francavilla’s Big Interview with chief executive Liz Goodwin. In Scotland, she says, WRAP plays a key role in helping to frame Government policies because its sponsors - the politicians - want it. In England, Defra is “less comfortable” with that role. It’s part of the wider challenge Goodwin faces in steering the organisation into a future where Defra has significantly cut its grants. The interview considers how that future will look, with a larger number of smaller funders and a more international perspective - it’s definitely worth a read.

Finally, MRW is proud to be the media partner for 2013 Replast, the British Plastic Federation’s annual recycling conference now in its sixth year. The plastics sector faces big increases in packaging recycling targets until 2017, which Lord de Mauley in June conceded was an “aggressive” policy (MRW.co.uk/8649836.article). If the targets are to be hit it will be because of the collective efforts of the plastics industry, WRAP and the politicians, whichever party or parties make up the next Government.
 

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