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Recycling

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to increase the level of recycling; and what additional resources will be granted to (a) local authorities and (b) the Waste Resources Action Plan to achieve this. (76043)

The review of England’s Waste Strategy, due to be published later this year, will put forward a range of measures to build on recent improvements in recycling. The proposed target increases for household waste recycling are 40 per cent. by 2010, 45 per cent. by 2015 and 50 per cent. by 2020.

Local authorities’ main source of funding for waste management is the environmental, protective and cultural services (EPCS) block of the revenue support grant, distributed by central Government each year. In the last Spending Review (SR2004) the Government announced an increase in the EPCS block of £888 million by 2007-08 over 2004-05. A further £260 million through the waste performance and efficiency grant and £535 million in private finance initiative credits were also made available by 2007-08.

For 2006-07, the Waste Resources and Action Plan (WRAP) has been allocated £10.8 million for market development work, £40 million under the Waste Implementation Programme (to divert biodegradable municipal waste from landfill), £9 million under the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste programme and £5.5 million under the Aggregate Sustainable Levy Fund.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will amend local authority league tables on recycling to give greater weight to waste minimisation. (76687)

[holding answer 12 June 2006]: Local authorities are assessed against a number of indicators on household waste which include the percentage sent for recycling or composting and the total weight collected per head. The Audit Commission publishes information on local authority performance against these indicators each year. This is available from the Audit Commission website:

http://www.audit-commission.gov.uk/performance/data provision.asp

Currently, there is no local authority statutory performance standard for waste minimisation. However, as part of the review of England’s Waste Strategy, Defra is looking at what levels and what forms of targets and indicators will, in the longer-term, be the most efficient at continuing the recent improvements we have seen in waste performance. The review will take into account existing policies designed to make waste management more sustainable, and consider how best to present information on local authority waste performance, consistent with sustainable waste management objectives.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of (a) plastic and (b) glass bottles were recycled in each of the last five years. (75564)

Each year the Department publishes its Packaging Data Note (which can be found on the Defra website), giving the overall tonnages of all glass and plastic packaging waste recycled each year. These are shown in the following tables.

Glass packaging waste recycled

Tonnes

2001

766,000

2002

747,000

2003

862,000

2004

1,050,000

2005

1,260,000

Plastic packaging waste recycled

Tonnes

2001

270,000

2002

360,000

2003

321,000

2004

344,000

2005

414,000

2005 figures are subject to confirmation. It is estimated that of the total amount of glass packaging waste recycled in 2004, approximately 75 per cent. were glass bottles. Of the total amount of plastic packaging waste recycled, about 10 per cent. is estimated to have been plastic bottles.

The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2005 place an obligation on producers who put packaging on the market to recover and recycle packaging waste. The packaging targets increase each year and we expect the amount of glass and plastic packaging waste (including bottles) recycled to also increase.