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Recycling: Directories

Volume 464: debated on Monday 8 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of printed telephone directories (a) delivered and (b) recycled in the last 12 months; and what assessment he has made of the environmental impact of printed telephone directories. (154001)

No estimate has been made by my Department on the number of printed telephone directories delivered or recycled or a specific assessment made of their environmental impact.

Telephone directories are recycled every year, most often into card and corrugated board, loft insulation, packaging materials, jiffy bags, egg boxes, animal bedding and newsprint.

Paper has been identified as a material where reduced waste and greater recycling can yield significant environmental benefits. The Government have already finalised voluntary producer responsibility agreements which will encourage, in particular, increased recycling of newspapers, magazines and direct mail with the Newspaper Publishers Association, the Periodical Publishers Association and the Direct Marketing Association respectively.

As they explore the scope for the recycling and recovery of waste paper, the Government will also be looking to other sectors of the paper industry to establish similar agreements or incorporate them into the development of the existing agreements. These would cover office paper, free newspapers, catalogues and directories and possibly other products as well.