Labour MPs disagree on dairy industry commitment to sustainability

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Dairy industry Recycling

Labour MPs disagree on dairy industry commitment to sustainability
The UK farming minister has tipped the dairy industry to smash environmental targets just a week after a fellow Labour MP questioned its green credentials.

A year on from the publication of the Milk Roadmap, farming minister Jim Fitzpatrick has praised the dairy industry for its determination to achieve and surpass the sustainability goals set for 2010.

Contrasting comments

Fitzpatrick picked out dairy as an example for others in the food industry to follow. He said: “The dairy industry has shown what can be done in a short time, and has set a clear benchmark for other food businesses.”

His comments come just days after fellow Labour MP Alan Whitehead hit out against the dairy industry for trailing behind other industries in its commitment to the environment.

During a visit to a bottle recycling facility, the Southampton MP said some parts of the packaging industry are not fulfilling their obligation to use recycled materials.

He warned: “The milk packaging industry in particular is well behind.”

In contrast, Fitzpatrick picked out uptake of recycled materials as an illustration of the strides the dairy industry is making towards sustainability targets.

He said milk processers and their partners are well on track to meeting their target of incorporating 10 per cent recycled material in milk bottles by the end of 2010.

Milk Roadmap targets

The Milk Roadmap set the 10 per cent goal as a step on the way to the eventual target of increasing recycled high-density polyethylene (rHDPE) content to 50 per cent by 2020.

Trade association Dairy UK defended the industry from the criticisms leveled at it by Whitehead last week citing these targets and the efforts being made to achieve them.

“UK dairy companies are in fact in the vanguard when it comes to using recycled HDPE, with all major companies involved in trials with the material,”​ said Fergus McReynolds, environment manager at Dairy UK.“The dairy sector fully expects to meet its target of 10 per cent inclusion of rHDPE in milk bottles by the end of next year.”

Related topics Markets Sustainability

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