Jo to press Minister on excess packaging

Jo will discuss the contents of her packaging bill with DEFRA Minister Joan Ruddock

Jo Swinson will press the Government to take action on excess packaging in a forthcoming Ministerial meeting.

Jo will meet with Environment Minister Joan Ruddock on 24th April to discuss the proposals in her Packaging (Reduction) Bill. These include better enforcement of packaging regulations and binding targets to reduce excessive packaging.

Commenting ahead of the meeting, Jo said:

“Excess packaging is a source of great frustration for the public, but the Government has failed to take serious steps to tackle the problem. Reducing the environmental impact of over-packaging has simply not been a priority for Labour; in fact, domestic waste has risen by a fifth since 1997.

“When the Packaging (Reduction) Bill was presented in Parliament, there were signs that the Minister supported its proposals. This meeting will offer a crucial opportunity to press further on what concrete steps she will take to adopt the measures in my Bill.

“I have received huge support for my campaign against excess packaging from East Dunbartonshire and across the country. It is time for the Government to sit up and take notice that this problem will continue to get worse unless they take effective action to stop the flood of packaging.”

The Packaging (Reduction) Bill was presented to Parliament as a 10 Minute Rule Bill in October 2007.

The proposals in the Bill include:

o The establishment of a national body to promote and enforce packaging reduction;

o Consumers to be given powers to deposit packaging in supermarkets for recycling before leaving the store;

o Improvements to packaging regulations to assist the work of Trading Standards officers;

o Binding targets for packaging reduction in place of existing voluntary targets.

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