To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what is the time scale for ending the dumping of wastes at sea. 
I have been asked to reply.The United Kingdom is a contracting party to the Oslo convention for the prevention of marine pollution by dumping from ships and aircraft and its successor, the convention for the protection of the marine environment of the north-east Atlantic (the OSPAR convention) which is expected to come into force shortly. Under the OSPAR convention only the following may be considered for dumping.
inert materials of natural origin, that is solid, chemically unprocessed geological material the chemical constituents of which are unlikely to be released into the marine environment;
sewage sludge until 31 December 1998;
fish waste from industrial fish processing operations; and
vessels and aircraft until, at the latest, 31 December 2004.
disused offshore installations and offshore pipelines.