There's been dark mutterings in the corridors of plastic power for some time now about the government's revised recycling targets. Some have suggested it's all arbitrary nonsense – a figure plucked from out of a hat and turned into a target. Others have conjectured that you can't have informed legislation without an informed debate… and that's not happened here.
Both are probably close to the truth and at last someone at Westminster has seen through the smoke and past the mirrors. Step forward the Labour MP for Workington, Sir Tony Cunningham, who has challenged the government over its plastic packaging recycling targets, which he believes are unachievable.
He's especially concerned about potential discrepancies between the government's recycling objectives and actual collection rates.
Defra minister Richard Benyon replied: “Of course it'll work – why shouldn't it? It's law, don'tcha know; it therefore can't fail now can it? Be a good chap and move along and stop asking silly questions – you'll only show yourself up.”
Actually, what he said was: “We are confident that the new targets can be achieved and will continue to monitor progress.” That amounts to the same thing when decipher by my new Dizzying Spin translator: “Blah, blah, blah… government policy… blah, blah.”
And frankly that's just not good enough. You can legislated against gravity if you want but it won't mean we'll all be needing metal divers' boots to stop ourselves floating away any time soon.
So let's thanks Tony Cunningham for asking a sensible question about plastics and recycling. We might finally have a friend in the corridors of power.
His constituency website is: www.tonycunningham.org.uk