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Labour to review its waste policy

Labour shadow environment secretary Kerry McCarthy has announced she intends to conduct an internal review of the party’s waste policy over the next 18 months.

Speaking at the Resource Association parliamentary reception in Portcullis House, McCarthy criticised the Government for failing to have a “joined-up waste prevention strategy” and for the current flat-lining recycling rates.

She said the EU Commission’s circular economy package, if passed through European Parliament, would require the UK to take “much stronger action on moving to a resource efficient economy”.

McCarthy said she would conduct the policy review alongside Labour’s shadow resources minister Alex Cunningham, whose office recently told MRW he is still “getting to grips” with his brief.

Both McCarthy and Cunningham were appointed in their roles in a party reshuffle following Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader in September.

McCarthy told the reception: “The coalition government did do a review on Labour’s 2007 waste strategy but they don’t have a joined-up waste prevention strategy at the moment.

“We’ve seen rejected calls for a ban on sending certain materials such as food and wood to landfill. It took a long time to introduce a plastic bag charge.

“We are currently on course to miss our current target of recycling at least 50% of household waste by 2020.

“If we can’t meet this target, there’s a big question mark over how we could meet the proposed new target for 65% by 2030.”

McCarthy has been a leading campaigner on food waste, with her Food Waste (Reduction) Bill set to get a second reading in the House of Commons in January.

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