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Sustainable Development

Volume 471: debated on Wednesday 30 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the effectiveness of the Government’s waste minimisation efforts in light of the recent evidence given by his Department’s Director of Sustainable Consumption to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee. (176547)

Waste prevention and reuse are key parts of DEFRA’s Waste Strategy for England 2007. The Government are committed to achieving the target in the Strategy of reducing household waste not re-used, recycled or composted from over 22.2 million tonnes in 2000 by 29 per cent. to 15.8 million tonnes in 2010 with an aspiration to reduce it to 12.2 million tonnes in 2020—a reduction of 45 per cent. This is a challenging target, but we are confident that it can be met through measures planned and already in place.

In 2004-05 we had the first ever fall in the overall amount of municipal waste created. In the two years since then, we have seen only a 0.5 per cent. growth—far lower than historic trends.