asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to the remarks by Lord Rooker on 8 July (Official Report, House of Lords, col. GC 97–8) on the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2008, what are the figures for exports of packaging waste in 2007; and whether the quantities for paper, glass, aluminium, steel and plastic are additional; and [HL5708]
Further to the remarks by Lord Rooker on 8 July (Official Report, House of Lords, col. GC 98) on the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2008, why 42 per cent of all aluminium was destined for recycling; and why it is necessary to export any aluminium for recycling. [HL5709]
Updated figures show that the UK exported a total of 2.35 million tonnes of packaging waste in 2007. This waste comprised approximately:
1.54 million tonnes of paper;
271,000 tonnes of glass;
19,000 tonnes of aluminium;
164,000 tonnes of steel; and
324,000 tonnes of plastic.
Forty-two per cent of all packaging aluminium collected in the UK was exported for recovery. The remaining 58 per cent of aluminium was reprocessed in the UK.
Aluminium, as with other valuable materials, is a globally traded commodity and is exported for recovery to where the best price is paid. Many products are manufactured in the Far East and there is an increasing demand, therefore, for recyclable materials in these countries. Overall, this helps the global effort to boost recycling and reduce reliance on natural resources.
Under the controls that apply to the export of waste, aluminium scrap is classed as a green list waste, and as such it can be exported for recycling to many countries under normal commercial controls. Those countries have informed the European Commission that they are content to receive such wastes for recycling.