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Volume 204: debated on Friday 28 February 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assistance he has provided for the development of paper, plastics and glass recycling plants in the United Kingdom; and if he has any plans to develop additional recycling plants.

Our preferred approach is for industry to come up with recycling initiatives that will stand the test of time in a free market. The Government's role is to provide the appropriate legal and economic framework to encourage recycling.The legal framework is set out in the Environmental Protection Act 1990, certain provisions of which are designed to make recycling more attractive. The Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of the Environment have also commissioned a study of economic instruments having the potential to encourage higher recycling rates.Industry can seek funding for research and development through the environmental technology innovation scheme—ETIS—operated jointly by my Department and the Department of Trade and Industry, and the DEMOS —the Department of Trade and Industry's environmental management option scheme—and Euroenviron schemes, administered by the Department of Trade and Industry.Recent ETIS grants include £100,500 to British Glass and £835,100 to Anaplast Ltd. to support research into new methods of recycling waste glass and plastic respectively; under the DEMOS scheme, a grant of £283,000 was awarded to Drinkwater Saby Ltd. as part of a collaborative project involving the collection of recyclable household waste and its sorting into marketable fractions; and a grant of £700,000 under the Euroenviron scheme was given to a collaborative project, including a United Kingdom firm, Rosehill Polymers, which aims to research ways in which waste tyres and plastic bottles can be recycled into marketable higher grade products.