Consternation has been rippling through bureaucratic ranks at the news of a draft EU law classifying human vomit as food waste.
What's the problem?
Well under existing EU law food waste must be recycled into animal feed or disposed of by composting, leaving local councils with a Friday night dilemma on their streets.
One obvious answer is the puke-a-scoop and disposal bins – and approach not dissimilar to that used for tackling the dog faeces issue. However, doubts have been expressed about the likelihood of the puke-a-scoop being used by those guilty of unauthorised food waste emissions. Especially on a Friday night.
Another obvious answer would be to require pubs and clubs to issue sick-bags to anyone leaving their premises when there is an obvious chance of uncontrolled food waste being discharged illegally to the urban environment. Again we come up against the problem of enforcement.
So far the issue is at an impasse. Local councils are adamant that they do not have the cash employ food waste wardens equipped with puke-a-scoops to patrol high risk areas. The government has made noises about using private contractors such as Vomco Ltd to do the job, but with an election next year they can ill afford the bad publicity a major slip-up would cause.