Labour sets out its stall on new waste policies during a busy second day at RWM 2012
- 13 September 2012
- Company & Industry News
Gavin Shuker MP, Labour's Shadow Waste and Resources Minister, called for a Plan B for resources whilst speaking at the RWM in partnership with CIWM 2012 conference yesterday. Criticising government inaction on waste and resources, he argued that political leadership was vital to secure jobs and growth in the new economy.
Labour has been working with local government and businesses in the sector to develop an alternative approach to the government. Gavin's speech provided a first glimpse into the party's thinking on resource security ahead of the next general election, and full details will emerge when the Policy Review document 'Resource Security: Generating growth and jobs from waste' is published in the coming weeks.
In his speech, Mr Shuker called on Defra to take a more ambitious approach to waste policy, including adopting a higher recycling target and bringing England into line with the devolved administrations in Wales and Scotland, and he spoke of the priority of creating new green jobs in the UK.
"Britain faces a choice: to embrace the opportunity to create new sustainable jobs through ambitious and consistent Government leadership, or to slip back once again to as the 'dirty man of Europe'," he said. "Labour's Policy Review has a clear focus: to generate sustainable growth and new jobs in and through the waste industry.
"England can no longer merely scrape over the bar with such unambitious recycling targets, while other nations pull ahead. Aligning our recycling targets with the rest of the UK will create jobs and promote growth."
Later on in the day, to a packed audience, keynote speaker Alastair Campbell echoed some of the shadow Minister's concerns, saying that the environment is slipping down government agenda and offering some insight into how the sector can bring more influence to bear in shaping and delivering policy.
Away from the politics, it was down to business on the exhibition floor, with plenty of activity. Among many deals done during the day, IQR Solutions took an order from Egger UK Ltd for a static model 1800 Flex Hammer shredder to replace two mobile shredders and boost average throughput to 45 tonnes per hour in one pass.
The impact of the electricity market reform on EfW was the subject of a report launched by Semple Fraser and Envirolink. Exploring the hurdles that currently face those who are engaging in the renewable energy marketplace, the report concludes that the lack of clarity in this complex policy area continues to impact on the development of new EfW infrastructure, particularly with regard to the proposed new large scale Feed-in Tariff Contract for Difference.
The report was eagerly greeted at the launch event and Julie Hecht, marketing manager for Semple Fraser, said: "RWM has been a great platform for us to launch this report to a highly focused audience. We have had huge interest and a very busy two days so far."
There was time for a little celebration too, with Taylor marking their 50th anniversary with a drinks reception on the stand and plenty of new products to underline their reputation in the industry.
"It has been the best RWM ever this year in terms of visitor numbers and quality of leads... It's the only show," said Julian Gaylor, sales and marketing director for Taylor.
With British and Swiss companies already working together on a number of waste projects, the Swiss Business Hub played host to Deputy Ambassador of Switzerland Frank Gruetter, and provided a flavour of Switzerland's expertise in a 'Closing the loop' seminar showcasing the solutions emerging from the Swiss Centre for Sustainable Management of Recyclable Waste & Resources.
"We were delighted to be able to welcome the shadow waste minister Gavin Shuker, who spent several hours touring the show and provided valuable insight into Labour's thinking on waste," said Alison Jackson, managing director of the event. "It was an excellent second day all round, with visitor numbers up again on last year, and plenty of business and networking being done."