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Environmental Policy

Volume 227: debated on Monday 28 June 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his Department's policy on the purchase and use of (a) recycled paper, (b) low-energy light bulbs, (c) tropical hardwoods, (d) peat and (e) cars with catalytic converters.

The Department of Social Security's policy on the purchase and use of these items are as follows:

(a) Recycled Paper

We already use a considerable quantity of recycled material and items made from recycled paper. As a matter of policy we already use recycled products where all of the factors including cost are equal.

(b) Low Energy Lightbulbs

We actively encourage the use of low energy lighting in the Department's buildings. When buildings are being refurbished or lighting is being replaced the provision of high frequency low energy fluorescent lighting is always considered.

(c) Tropical Hardwoods

The Department has deliberately phased out the use of topical hardwoods in its furniture.

(d) Peat

Peat is purchased for use in the gardens at two buildings managed by the resettlement unit. Peat is not purchased for fuel by the Department.

(e) Cars with Catalytic Converters

Since January 1991, the Department has only acquired diesel vehicles or cars propelled by petrol and fitted with catalytic converters. Over 80 per cent. of the petrol cars in the current fleet have catalytic converters fitted.