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Volume 455: debated on Thursday 18 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the value for money of funding provided to the Waste and Resources Action Programme for the campaign Recycle Now. (116198)

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) was allocated a total of £11 million for a two-year period to run a national campaign on recycling. Recycle Now was launched in September 2004.

A review of the campaign’s value for money showed that it has cost 51 pence per household, which is within the range of costs reported in other EU member states for similar campaigns.

An independent survey carried out by marketing groups has shown that the Recycle Now television adverts generate very strong public recognition and, therefore, compare favourably to successful commercial advertisements with significantly larger budgets.

Work carried out by NOP on behalf of WRAP indicates an increase in committed recyclers, from 45 per cent. to 57 per cent. over the period from April 2004 to March 2006. This represents an additional five million committed recyclers (that is, those who regard recycling as important, those who recycle even if it requires additional effort, and those who recycle a lot or everything that they can). The campaign therefore exceeded the 55 per cent. committed recycler target set out in WRAP’S 2004-06 business plan.

The Government firmly believes that public participation is key to increasing recycling and waste minimisation and in taking forward a policy of sustainable waste management. We have seen household waste recycling rates increase to 27 per cent. in 2005-06 (in combination with increased levels of recycling infrastructure). This exceeds the 25 per cent. target and represents nearly a fourfold increase since 1997.