Caroline Spelman hails waste industry as ‘bright star’ of green economy

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman has called the waste sector a "bright star of economic growth", saying it was one of the few industries predicted to grow against the backdrop of a challenging economic climate.

Speaking at WRAP’s annual conference today (November 15) in London, Spelman told delegates the sector was forecast to grow between 3-5% per annum over the coming years.

She said: “I constantly see people coming to me with new opportunities for materials that have previously been discarded or buried in the ground. Good resource management will help rebalance the economy and put it on a more sustainable footing.”

Spelman added that the more astute forward-thinking companies were “questioning their resource-dependant business models” and looking for ways to prosper by better managing their waste practices.

She also urged smaller businesses and third sector organisations to apply for regional funding to help kick-start new green projects – but said only those projects that were “shovel-ready” were likely to be successful. “We don’t want a long lead in time – we need to grow that opportunity quickly and create new jobs.”

Maxine Perella

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