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Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) which groups have been consulted as part of the Strategic Review of Packaging Policy; (230776)

(2) what the status is of the Strategic Review of Packaging Policy; and whether there is a date set for the implementation of the policy review.

The Strategic Review of Packaging Policy was initiated as a response to the Prime Ministers Strategy Unit ‘Food Matters’ report published in July 2008.

Since July, DEFRA and the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform have been working together in collaboration with the Devolved Administrations to develop a strategy for packaging.

The strategy will aim to set out how packaging policy will play its part in the climate change and resource efficiency agenda over the next decade and beyond, and how it will address consumer concerns about packaging. The strategy will be a policy statement describing where packaging policy should contribute to the set out in the 2007 Waste Strategy for England and be gradually phased in over a number of years, starting in delivery ambitions implementation will early 2009.

Despite the short timescales, the Government have consulted a wide range of stakeholders during the formation of this strategy. These key stakeholders included the Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP) which has representatives from compliance schemes, waste management companies, brands and manufacturers; the Packaging Recycling Action Group (PRAG), which has representatives from trade organisations, retailers, local government and manufacturers; the Waste Action Forum, Improvement and Efficiency South East, the Local Government Association, the Waste and Resources Action Programme, Friends of the Earth, the Sustainable Development Commission and the Green Alliance.

Additionally, DEFRA held a successful stakeholder event on 17 October. The event tested emerging thinking on the current direction of the packaging strategy and gathered a rang of stakeholder opinions. Around 50 organisations were represented at the event, including Material Organisations, Alupro, Corus, the British Plastics Federation, packaging designers and manufacturers including Deputy Speaker Smith Packaging and Sealed Air and packaging industry trade organisations including INCPEN and the Packaging Federation.