asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give an estimate of how many tonnes of straw have been disposed of by burning in Scotland during each of the last five years; what area of stubble this represents; and if he intends to take any initiative to promote constructive use of straw as a raw material in any industry.
Accurate information as to the tonnage of straw burned and the area concerned is not available but, with most straw going for feeding and bedding livestock, it may be that only some 10 to 15 per cent. will be burned in Scotland in an average year. This would amount to between 100,000 and 150,000 tonnes, representing 50,000 to 75,000 hectares. Alternative uses of straw, both on and off the farm, continue to be investigated.