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Waste Management

Volume 454: debated on Tuesday 5 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of (a) waste minimisation schemes and (b) the Real Nappy Programme in encouraging people to produce less waste; (106401)

(2) what assessment he has made of the effect of the Real Nappy Campaign on (a) long-term changes in consumer purchasing behaviour in relation to nappies and (b) general consumer behaviour.

[holding answer 30 November 2006]: The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) recently published an Achievement Report. This included details of progress made on minimising waste through composting, reusable nappies, and in the retail sector. Progress made included:

(i) signing up 92 per cent. of UK grocery retailers to the Courtauld Commitment to reduce packaging and food waste

(ii) recruiting an additional 335,000 households as home composters

(iii) diverting 22,954 tonnes of biodegradable nappy waste from landfill.

The Report is available from the WRAP website at:

http://www.wrap.org.uk/wrap_corporate/about_wrap/wraps.html.

As WRAP’s work on reusable nappies started in 2003, it is too early to say what long-term changes there have been in consumer behaviour. The challenge in relation to reusable nappies, because of the convenience of disposable nappies, was recognised from the outset. I understand that WRAP will be preparing a report on lessons learnt from the campaign in the spring of 2007.

Each of the elements of WRAP’s work on waste minimisation has produced valuable experience of how to influence consumer behaviour in making choices which reduce the amount of waste created.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Government’s estimate is of how long existing landfill sites in England will be able to meet waste disposal needs. (107012)

There is sufficient landfill capacity in England to meet current waste disposal needs. Future capacity is difficult to predict. However, a number of Government policies are designed to significantly reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill.

More challenging waste targets, progressively lower landfill limits and the escalating landfill tax will all help the UK to move away from its reliance on landfill. These measures will also encourage more sustainable waste management through greater reduction, reuse and recycling.