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Tory manifesto makes recycling pledge

The Conservative Party manifesto has outlined plans to reduce litter by supporting “comprehensive rubbish collection and recycling” and “better packaging”.

It also indicates that if elected, the party would “force” councils to clear up roadside litter and prosecute offenders.

The Tories promised to publish their long-awaited 25-year environment plan, which was due to be launched by Defra earlier this year.

The manifesto said the plan would “chart how we will improve our environment as we leave the EU”.

In addition, the manifesto outlines a long-term strategy for dismantling North Sea oil rigs.

Work to decommission a 24,000-tonne Brent oil platform began in Teesside ealier this month. Around 98% of the material from the platform is expected to be recycled.

The manifesto states: “…it is expected to be the first major oil and gas basin in the world to decommission fully, and we will take advantage of that to support the development of a world-leading decommissioning industry.”

Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have already published their manifestoes.

Nick Pollard, chief executive of Cory Riverside Energy, said: “This manifesto has rightly highlighted the opportunities to refresh our approach to energy and waste following the UK’s exit from the EU – with a particular commitment to diverse energy sources. It is critical that we move away from relying on a small number of carbon-heavy providers, especially as there are already reliable and low-carbon energy generation technologies available today in the UK.

”In particular, energy-from-waste (EfW) can provide a stable, reliable and renewable energy source which will produce electricity when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. The next government, no matter which party, needs to recognise the importance of EfW in a post-Brexit landscape.”

Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association chief executive Charlotte Morton welcomed the Conservatives’ continued commitment to the Paris Climate Change Agreement and 2050 carbon targets, as well as the commitment to a diverse market of energy provision. But no concrete action to boost recycling rates would mean that recyclable non-edible food waste would continue to go to landfill.

“We would have appreciated more detail on how the AD industry will be supported to help the Government meet its pledges to move to a more diverse energy supply in practice, while reducing the amount of food that ends up being incinerated or going to landfill. I am also concerned about the enthusiastic promotion of shale gas in the manifesto – it will be very difficult for us to meet our climate change commitments using shale – green gas from AD is surely better than old-fashioned fossil fuels.”

Energy policies:

The Tories are still committed to meeting an EU-wide target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.

The Renewable Energy Association hailed the manifesto as a “solid building block” for a transition of a lower-carbon future.

Chief executive Nina Skorupska said: “Our members will be pleased with the renewed commitment to the 2050 carbon targets and the transposition of existing EU law into the UK, as well as a commitment to leading the world in low-carbon transport.”

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