Recycling wins a place in Industrial Strategy

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CEO Dr Colin Church says "CIWM was looking for the Industrial Strategy White Paper to recognise the role improving resource productivity can play in helping the United Kingdom economy meet the challenges it faces".

The pharma company - known as Merck & Co in the USA and Canada - also intends to move around 800 workers from its current headquarters in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, and says it is scouting out locations for the new site with the aim of starting operations in 2020.

Speaking at the annual ESA lunch in London on 24 November, Davies said: "We have been finding our way into the Beis to make the case for the sector and engage proactively with the industrial strategy as it is formulated, funded and rolled out".

While specific energy-related commitments are scant - the government has already published its Clean Growth Strategy which outlined these policies in detail - the strategy does discuss the need to remodel the national electricity grid to enable the various different kinds of renewable generation that are coming on-stream.

He said: "Renewables are set to become the backbone of our modern energy system and the plummeting cost of wind power means onshore and offshore wind can help improve the competitiveness of United Kingdom industry".

"We have commercial and industrial sectors - from advanced manufacturing to financial services; from life sciences to the creative industries - which are competitive with the best in the world".

"The strategy unveiled today reflects this engagement, with a new and unique partnership between government, academia and industry, supported by policies that are committed to making the United Kingdom economy more productive and giving it a competitive edge in the future and overseas".

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It later elaborates: "We will support businesses" long-term productivity through innovative approaches to resource efficiency. "By developing these world-leading systems in the United Kingdom, we can cut bills while creating high value jobs for the future", the strategy states. As part of this work, we will work with industry to explore options to introduce electronic tracking of waste. This could mean around £80 billion of additional investment in advanced technology in the next decade, helping to transform whole sectors, create new industries, and support innovation across the country.

In terms of markets for secondary materials, the government says it will take "further measures to strengthen them, although no indication is given of what these might be".

There is of course mention of the 25-year Environment Plan, long promised by the government and hoped for in the first months of 2017, and a new strategy for resources and waste, confirmed in the Clean Growth Strategy.

As well as the explicit references to waste and resources, opportunities could also be found for the sector and its development through the commitment to research and development.

May said: "It will help create the conditions where successful businesses can emerge and grow, and support these businesses in seizing the big opportunities of our time, such as artificial intelligence and big data, whilst also making sure our young people have the skills to take on the high-paid, high-skilled jobs this creates".

Artificial intelligence - "we will put the United Kingdom at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution".

PM Theresa May said the Strategy would provide a blueprint for businesses to deliver a "stronger and fairer economy far years to come".

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