To ask the President of the Board of Trade what role he foresees for business in recovering waste for recycling.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and I have today announced a new initiative to encourage industry and commerce to play a greater role in reducing the amount of waste which has to be disposed of through landfill, including by establishing systems to recover and reuse waste materials whenever it is practicable and environmentally advantageous to do so. I intend to continue the dialogue which has already begun with different sectors of industry and commerce producing products which eventually become waste, such as tyres, batteries, vehicles and electronic equipment, to determine how our objective can best be put into effect in these and other areas.An important plank in our policy is the need to maintain and develop our existing recycling infrastructure, on which many jobs depend. This is currently threatened by surplus of waste materials generated as a result of recycling policies elsewhere in Europe. We are looking to all the sectors concerned in our initiative to help counter this threat. In addition, our policies will create new opportunities and jobs—in collecting, sorting and processing materials for reuse and recycling. I intend to explore with companies how Britain can best capitalise on this growing market area.