Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow, who joined the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary earlier this week has been confirmed as the new junior minister with responsibility for waste and recycling.
Mrs Pow succeeds Therese Coffey who was moved last weekend to become the new secretary of state for work and pensions. A briefing within Defra about the Resources and Waste Strategy involving Mrs Pow and Secretary of State Theresa Villiers is expected to take place next week.
Alongside her responsibility for resources and environmental management, which includes waste, air quality, chemicals and litter, Mrs Pow will have responsibility for:
- Domestic natural environment
- 25 Year Environment Plan
- Environment Bill
- Climate change adaptation, co-ordination of Defra input to net zero, land use
- Floods and water
- Commercial projects including Covent Garden Market and waste PFI projects
- Lead for Environment Agency and Natural England
- Commons Minister for rural affairs, landscape, and adaptation
Last year, in an exclusive interview, Mrs Pow spoke to letsrecycle.com about the Conservative Party’s vision on improving recycling in the UK, covering topics such as local authority partnerships, recycling consistency and reducing plastic waste (see letsrecycle.com story).
Mrs Pow spoke of the need for quality and consistency with regard to local authorities and manufacturers, reasoning that: “The material must be good quality and sorted correctly and at the moment we have a myriad of different systems from local authorities, who are working hard.
“However, those which are most effective are those which work together with another district to benefit from greater economies of scale. I think in the future more should go down that road, to help collect more of the right material. This is also the same elsewhere in the industry, manufacturers must use similar products and not a myriad of different material for the same type of product.”