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Waste Regulations

Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 25 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the total cost since May 1997 including (a) employment on-costs and (b) legal advice commissioned by her Department in connection with action taken following contact received from the European Commission in respect of the UK's non-compliance with EU Directives and Regulation relating to waste. [120519]

Employment and legal costs associated with infraction proceedings are not separately identified in the Department's accounts and it would not be feasible to compile these costs from historical records. The requested information is not therefore available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what the United Kingdom's performance was in 2002 against the recovery and recycling targets in the EC directive on packaging and packaging waste; and if she will make a statement; [120777](2) what new recovery and recycling targets for packaging waste for 2003 have been set; and if she will make a statement. [120899]

The EC Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste set targets of 50 per cent. recovery, 25 per cent. recycling and 15 per cent. recycling of each specified material which had to be met by 2001.Provisional figures for the United Kingdom for 2002, which were made public on 16 May, suggested a 53.6 per cent. recovery and 47.5 per cent. recycling rate had been achieved. However, as noted then, some figures may have to be adjusted in light of a fact-finding mission to look at possible inappropriate issue of Packaging Waste Recovery Notes in 2002. In addition, as the Information Bulletin noted, the figure for the amount of wood flowing into the waste stream might have to be adjusted. Such changes will affect the final level of recovery and recycling.Targets for 2003 were set in October 2002 and remain as announced then, that is 59 per cent. for recovery and 19 per cent. material-specific recycling. We are preparing a consultation document on possible future targets for 2004 to 2008 and hope to publish this next month.