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Gummer’s Firm Making Money Out Of “Meaningless” Recycling Logo

May 19, 2019

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Patsy Lacey

 

More disgrace for Gummer, who incredibly is still Chair of the Committee on Climate Change:

 

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Tory peer John Selwyn Gummer is chairman of a firm that charges companies to use ‘meaningless’ and ‘misleading’ recycling symbols on their packaging.

The Green Dot logo appears on hundreds of supermarket products and is thought to boost sales, because environmentally friendly shoppers think it means that the product is recyclable.

But the symbol means only that the company has paid towards a recycling scheme, not that the product itself can be recycled.

The row is unwelcome news for John Selwyn Gummer, 79, who has been chairman of the independent Committee on Climate Change since 2012

And while the Green Dot scheme is used in dozens of countries across Europe, no such system exists in Britain. Companies only print the symbols on products that are also sold across the Continent.

Valpak, which regulates the logo in the UK and charges firms up to £295 to display it on their products, says in a document entitled Guidance On Use Of The Green Dot In Europe: ‘The packaging recycling system in the UK is based on the purchase of Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs), which are recycling certificates showing that a certain amount of packaging has been recovered/recycled.

‘This means that the Green Dot is a meaningless trade mark in the UK.’

The Green Dot logo appears on hundreds of supermarket products and is thought to boost sales, because environmentally friendly shoppers think it means that the product is recyclable

Last night, Laura Foster, Head of Clean Seas at the Marine Conservation Society, said: ‘Since the Green Dot is not applicable here, it is possible that some consumers might be confused by the appearance on packaging.’

The row is unwelcome news for Gummer, 79, who has been chairman of the independent Committee on Climate Change since 2012. Made Baron Deben in 2010, he joined Valpak in 1998, a year after he lost his job as Environment Secretary when the Tories were thrown out of office by New Labour.

He is currently being investigated by Standards Commissioner Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, after The Mail on Sunday revealed his family consultancy firm was paid more than £600,000 by ‘green’ businesses.

Gummer, best known for feeding his daughter a hamburger at the height of the BSE scare, has declared his chairmanship of the consultancy but never disclosed its clients. He denies any conflicts of interest or impropriety.

But consumer watchdogs are concerned about the transparency of ‘green’ symbols, with a Which? survey finding almost half of respondents mistakenly thought the Green Dot logo meant items were recyclable. Defending its fees in a statement on behalf of the firm and its chairman, Valpak said: ‘The money collected from the licence-fee payers covers fees paid to the Green Dot trade organisation and the cost of administering the licence.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7045445/Meaningless-recycling-logo-misleads-shoppers-making-millions-Tory-peer.html

13 Comments
  1. Dave Ward permalink
    May 19, 2019 2:56 pm

    “But the symbol means only that the company has paid towards a recycling scheme, not that the product itself can be recycled”

    This sounds like a variation of “Green” energy companies claiming they supply “100%” renewable energy, when in reality most of it comes from conventional sources, and they simply buy/sell credits to make up the difference…

    • Jon Scott permalink
      May 21, 2019 10:55 am

      Exactly! I challenged an advertisement by Shell which explicitly claimed all the electricity they supplied came from renewable sources…… (how to mis interpret that I wonder), to be told because they paid for worthless certificates their claim was justified! This is the reality of the climate scam!

  2. May 19, 2019 4:24 pm

    It’s just another day in the life of the climate change/green scam. We need a government that is prepared to stamp out all this green nonsense and the corruption that goes with it.

  3. John O permalink
    May 19, 2019 5:42 pm

    The very definition of a parasite!

    • May 20, 2019 10:53 am

      He should be recycled to somewhere harmless, like a retirement home.

  4. George Lawson permalink
    May 19, 2019 6:31 pm

    “The packaging recycling system in the UK is based on the purchase of Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs), which are recycling certificates”

    Why should these cost £295 if there is no additional benefit to the purchaser? and we need to know how many certificates have been issued at this price. Gummer is a boil on the arse of decency and proprietary, He is surely the biggest con man in parliament, and should be booted out of government affairs in the interests of the people.

    • mikewaite permalink
      May 19, 2019 7:51 pm

      Who ultimately is paying for these? The consumer?
      If so is there not a Govt Consumer Watchdog to prevent abuse in the retail sector?
      Does not the BBC regularly expose suspicious activity in that sector? Would it have the honesty to expose a man who has been a darling to them because of his renewables activities?
      Is there any area of British Govt and public service which is not riddled from top to bottom with corruption?

      • Gerry, England permalink
        May 20, 2019 1:41 pm

        Any costs incurred by businesses are generally passed on to the consumer in some form. If prices don’t increase then investment might be reduced, the workforce might be cut and wage increases reduced. Not something understood by our politicians, but then there isn’t much our politicians do understand.

  5. PeterGB permalink
    May 19, 2019 11:33 pm

    “He (Deben) is currently being investigated by Standards Commissioner Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, after The Mail on Sunday revealed his family consultancy firm was paid more than £600,000 by ‘green’ businesses.”

    I’m sorry – he’s being investigated by whom? Why is this not a police investigation? I’m sure even the Serious Fraud Squad wouldn’t be able to mess this one up.

    • George Lawson permalink
      May 20, 2019 9:29 am

      If someone in private industry was seen to benefit to the tune of £600,000 from suppliers who were receiving orders from that company in return, then he would be dismissed immediately, and at that level of fraud, would have been reported to the police and could possibly have received a prison sentence for robbing his company, but if you do it in parliament you get to keep your job, even if you have been caught out in fraudulent activity a second time. And remember, his boss, Mr. Gove, who himself has had his knuckles rapped for cheating on his Parliamentary expenses, is hoping to be elected as future leader of his party. There are still a few decent parliamentarians who stick to the rules, and they are the ones who should be working to root out those who are milking the system.

  6. Athelstan. permalink
    May 19, 2019 11:59 pm

    He’s a generous trougher is lord piggy boy chairman, he fills it and shares the trough with his sow and runts.

  7. dennisambler permalink
    May 20, 2019 7:51 pm

    “More disgrace for Gummer, who incredibly is still Chair of the Committee on Climate Change”

    There’s a clue here, Gove thinks he’s great:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-unfrozen-moment-delivering-a-green-brexit

    “Lord Deben’s excellent Committee on Climate Change and its equally excellent Adaptation Sub-Committee”

    Cameron likewise before him: https://brppa.co.uk/david-cameron-picks-john-gummer-to-chair-committee-on-climate-change/

    David Cameron picks John Gummer to chair Committee on Climate Change

    “Lord Deben it was who co-authored with Zac Goldsmith in 2007 the radical ‘blueprint for a green revolution’ as part of the Quality of Life Policy Group, that was backed by David Cameron before his election. This is partly credited for the prime minister announcing the intention to create “the greenest government ever”.

    Friends of the Earth described him as “the best environment secretary we’ve ever had”.

    Gove recently appointed former head of FoE Tony Juniper and more recently Executive Director for Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF UK, as chair of Natural England.

    Cameron was in thrall to WWF, his hug a husky trip was organised by them. It seems Gove is as well, from his speech intro above:

    “It is a particular pleasure to be here today in WWF’s magnificent Living Planet Centre. It’s an inspirational example of how buildings can contribute to environmental sustainability.

    The WWF’s commitment to worldwide conservation, to robust research and to engaging people as well as policy makers in these critical issues has ensured it has provided a wonderful example of environmental leadership.

    I hope that we will continue to work closely together, and with other organisations represented here, as we forge our future approach to the environment.”

    Deben will stay.

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