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NEWS RELEASE
Issued 00.30 14.03.2015

House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee Inquiry into Litter and Fly Tipping in England. Seventh Report into Session 2014 -2015 released 00.00hrs 14.03.2015

Statement from the Foodservice Packaging Association

The FPA (Executive Director Martin Kersh) gave evidence. The Association responded to the initial consultation and the submission can be found here:
http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence....

Contact FPA Executive Director Martin Kersh on email admin@foodservicepackaging.org.uk or call landline 01869 351139 mobile 07711 142789

For more information about the FPA and the benefits it delivers for members please go to www.foodservicepackaging.org.uk

STATEMENT FROM FPA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MARTIN KERSH
Issued 00.15 14.03.2015
The recommendations of the DCLG Select Committee are highly encouraging. We applaud the Inquiry for dropping proposals for a levy on foodservice operators and / or packaging suppliers to cover the cost of litter. Apart from the fact takeaways pay huge sums in business rates we were concerned that a signal would be sent to those who litter excusing their behaviour. The Select Committee has firmly put the emphasis on changing the behaviour of those who drop litter and are taking on board the proposal we made that Fixed Penalty Notices be increased and LA’s encouraged to enforce them. We had asked that fine revenue not be seen as purely a money making exercise but rather as a means of providing funds to increase the number of enforcement officers. This isn’t a specific recommendation of the report so we will continue to lobby that fines be used in this way, encouraged by the direction the Inquiry is taking.

The foodservice industry is asked to ensure outlets keep the perimeters of their premises free from litter.

The Street Litter Control Notices Order (1991) can enforce a business to clean up around the perimeter of its premises but this is not an ongoing obligation. Most responsible retailers keep the outside of their premises free from litter and we would imagine most would not have difficulties complying with any legislation which would make this a requirement.

In addition foodservice operators are asked to introduce on-pack information on all branded take away and fast food packaging to remind consumers to dispose of used packaging responsibly. The FPA has been active in bringing together all parts of the foodservice industry to seek a consistent on pack message which will also appear in store on signs. We would only add that major branded operators should not be singled out as the requirement for on-pack information should be seen by customers from all takeaways if a consistent message is to be achieved.

The report also notes the division of responsibility between DEFRA and DCLG regarding litter is often ‘unhelpful’. This perhaps overshadows much of the good work of both Departments. The report however flags up our suggestion for a National Litter Strategy which would provide some leadership for the excellent work on litter undertaken by Local Authorities, organisations and individuals. We would ask that consideration be given to ensuring bins are emptied with the required frequency to ensure that they are not overflowing and it was good to see the Inquiry had a demonstration of an example of new bin technology.

We also applaud the Inquiry for recommending that it extends immediately to all local authorities in England, the powers in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill 2014 to impose penalties on the owner of a vehicle from which litter is dropped and for recommending a toughening up of policies on fly-tipping.

Overall we sensed the Inquiry took notice of our belief that the industry, waste management, local authorities and litter groups can and are willing to work together to make an impact on the main priority of changing the behaviour of those who litter.

Together with McDonald’s Restaurants excellent evidence submission I believe the Inquiry could see we are a responsible industry.

Martin Kersh
Executive Director, Foodservice Packaging Association

For more information please contact FPA Executive Director Martin Kersh on email admin@foodservicepackaging.org.uk or call landline 01869 351139 mobile 07711 142789

For more information about the FPA and the benefits it delivers for members please go to www.foodservicepackaging.org.uk

Ends 14 March 2015
Issued on behalf of the FPA by Leapfrog PR. Editorial contact is Felicity Read on 01242 282000 or email felicity@leapfropgpr.com


Notes to editors:

WHY THE FPA SAYS NO TO A LEVY ON PACKAGING

1) Diversity of packaging sourcing: some foodservice packaging is produced in the UK and some overseas. Some of the latter directly and some via one of the EU member states. Some imports are sold directly to takeaway operators and some via distributors. Some foodservice packaging is used in both the foodservice and grocery sectors.

2) Difficult to track: it is therefore difficult to track and the FPA’s concern is that it would be UK manufacturers to whom the levy would be unfairly applied. Given the other difficulties faced by UK manufacturers such as disproportionally high energy costs versus other nations an inadvertent consequence could be to drive UK foodservice packaging manufacturing overseas. This will add a further layers of administration and cost.

3) Under the radar: the FPA believes some packaging would ‘slip under the radar’ and it would only be packaging placed in the larger branded high street operators, which account for less than 40% of the market, who would be unfairly targeted.

4) Additional costs: there is the risk that this will result in extra charges to the consumer bearing in mind the administration costs of applying the levy.

WHY THE FPA SAYS NO TO A LEVY ON FOODSERVICE OPERATORS

1) Increased costs: larger operators would end up paying three times: business rates, PRN’s and the proposed levy. Foodservice operators pay a huge amount of business rates, not all of which is returned to Local Authorities – perhaps more could and should.

2) Branded Operator bias: focussing on the main operators means the bulk of the market is missed such as the independent sector; bakeries, CTN’s, Petrol stations, service stations, supermarkets, some restaurants, pubs, caterers and even school tuck shops and hospital WRVS facilities.

3) It assumes nothing can be done to change littering behaviour: this approach accepts that littering is the norm and gives up on changing public behaviour, it also ignores the legislation that exists but is so rarely enforced.

4) Unfair targeting: will foodservice pay the whole bill? Or would the charge apply to sales of almost any product that can be consumed and possibly littered on the go such as confectionery, snacks, fruit, and drinks from cans. What about tickets and receipts?

5) In home consumption: would the levy take into account that much takeaway food is consumed in the home and disposed of by the householder - would operators need to identify food taken away from the store from that which is eaten in store and home delivery so adding additional administration?

e) The risk to all packaging: where is the line to be drawn, is this not simply a first step that will eventually be applied to all packaging?

The imposition of levies on foodservice operators and foodservice packaging will have a major impact on the foodservice industry, raising costs and adding administration. The FPA calls upon operators and manufacturers to work together and lobby local authorities and Government to ensure the foodservice industry is not unfairly targeted.

House of Commons
Communities and Local Government Committee
Litter and fly-tipping in England
Seventh Report of Session 2014–15
Current membership
Mr Clive Betts MP (Labour, Sheffield South-East) (Chair)
Bob Blackman MP (Conservative, Harrow East)
Simon Danczuk MP (Labour, Rochdale)
Mrs Mary Glindon MP (Labour, North Tyneside)
David Heyes MP (Labour, Ashton under Lyne)
Mark Pawsey MP (Conservative, Rugby)
John Pugh MP (Liberal Democrat, Southport)
Alec Shelbrooke MP (Conservative, Elmet and Rothwell)
John Stevenson MP (Conservative, Carlisle)
Heather Wheeler MP (Conservative, South Derbyshire)
Chris Williamson MP (Labour, Derby North)

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