The Department does not provide specific incentives for manufacturers to switch from virgin pulp to recovered paper. However, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is working to create stable and efficient markets for recycled materials and products by removing the barriers to waste minimisation, re-use and recycling. WRAP'S recycled paper advocacy team is also working to increase demand for recycled paper which will help encourage manufacturing companies to move towards using recovered paper.
It is likely that WRAP will prioritise additional work on paper in its 2007-08 work plans and their future business plan.
(2) what assessment he has made of the impact of increased export of UK recovered paper to China on companies who have already switched from using virgin pulp to recovered fibre;
(3) what steps are being taken to encourage the collection of high grade recovered paper from (a) offices and (b) schools and universities.
The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is commissioning a risk assessment report on the future of paper exports, which will outline the opportunities and risks associated with the export of paper, as well as future predictions and recommendations. This report will help inform WRAP’s future work in this area. However, increased exports of recovered paper to China are unlikely to have a significant impact on WRAP’s 2008 target to increase the use of all recyclates by the UK manufacturing sector by an additional 220,000 tonnes a year.
In 2005, paper manufacturers within the UK used 4.5 million tonnes of recovered paper, while 1.5 million tonnes were exported to China. Since 2001, work by the WRAP has led to an extra 3 million tonnes of new recycling capacity, with at least another 1 million in the pipeline. It is also increasing demand for recycled materials across the public and private sectors. Capital funding from WRAP has provided an additional 320,000 tonnes of newsprint reprocessing capacity at the UPM Shotton paper mill—enough to recycle the newspapers and magazines from an extra 4 million households in the UK. In addition, manufactured newsprint in the UK is now made from 100 per cent. recycled fibre.
WRAP’s Recycled Paper Advocacy Team, launched in September 2006, is already working with a number of large companies and Government Departments to help them switch to using high quality recycled paper for their office requirements and printed publications. This includes work with a large number of blue chip companies with the potential to increase the use of recycled paper by up to 2,000 tonnes per week.
WRAP is working to increase the levels of paper and other recyclates recovered from all sources (including businesses, schools and universities) and is due to launch the Schools Recycling Awareness Programme on 23 January.
The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) recently held a consultation on a sustainable schools strategy and Defra will be working with DfES and other partners, including WRAP, following the consultation to help schools minimise, reuse, recycle and compost their waste. It is our intention as part of this work to issue guidance to schools to include issues around the definition of waste from schools and ‘top ten tips’.
The data requested are not available.
Since recovered paper is classed as non-hazardous waste, or ‘green material’, it is not subject to the prior written notification and consent procedures which apply to exports of hazardous waste. Therefore the UK competent authorities, who are responsible for the controls that apply to exports of waste, do not have access to specific data on the tonnage of green materials exported from the UK.
The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is piloting portable waste battery collection schemes by working in partnership with a range of local authorities and not-for-profit organisations that already run recycling collection services. WRAP began trials of kerbside collection schemes in April 2006, initially covering over 350,000 households in a mixture of high-rise, urban and rural areas across the UK.
A second set of collection trials started at the end of October 2006, where householders in two trial areas are now able to return their unwanted batteries to a range of participating retailers, where special collection containers have been provided.
Further trials, including a postal return scheme for remote rural areas, and a number of community drop-off/bring schemes, should be started shortly.
To date, it is estimated that the trials have collected over three to four million batteries (18.6 tonnes). Initial results from the trials can be found on the WRAP website at:
An independent, DEFRA-funded research study, carried out by Enviros Consulting and Cranfield University in 2006, concluded that there was no evidence of rises in rat populations resulting from alternate weekly collection of household refuse designed to increase levels of recycling.
The study found that the influence of domestic waste management arrangements on rats is likely to be insignificant in comparison to other factors, such as the age of the property, the area (urban or rural), and the adequate upkeep of drains.
The winter interim report for phase one of the study has been published and is available from DEFRA’s Local Authority Support website at:
Proper design of an alternate weekly collection (AWC) service should avoid any increase in nuisance to householders. The Waste and Resources Action Programme has published guidance for local authorities on the design and implementation of alternate weekly collection services, in order to minimise nuisance and health risks. This includes, for example, hygiene measures for bins.
This is an important issue and DEFRA is supporting further research into this area. A report covering the summer period is currently under way and will be published soon.