(2) what estimate he has made of the number of Christmas cards that were recycled in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement;
(3) what estimate he has made of the number of Christmas cards that were recycled in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement.
DEFRA has not made an estimate of the number of Christmas trees which were recycled in the last three years. I am aware that some local authorities (LAs) have in the past reported the number of Christmas trees they recycle to the environmental charity EnCams. Figures for 2002 show that nearly 2 million trees were recycled by the LAs which provided returns in England and Wales.
While DEFRA does not provide specific support to LAs for the recycling of Christmas trees, we have provided significant additional funding to increase the proportion of waste that they recycle through the Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services (EPCS) spending block. This includes waste management services, Private Finance Initiative funding for waste, the Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund and the Waste Performance and Efficiency Grant.
Waste Watch recently estimated that up to 1 billion Christmas cards could end up in rubbish bins across the UK rather than being recycled. We would expect those authorities which carry out collection and recycling of waste paper to recycle Christmas cards with the rest of the waste paper they collect.
In addition, the Woodland Trust runs an annual Christmas card recycling scheme with Recycle Now. Their 2005 scheme recycled more than 58 million cards, collecting the equivalent of at least one card for every person in Britain. The trust has set a 2007 target to recycle 90 million Christmas and new year cards. More information on this year’s scheme can be found on the Woodland Trust’s website at: