HC Deb 04 November 1970 vol 805 cc1061-2
9. Mr. John Hall

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will undertake studies of the long-term problems arising in the disposal of non-returnable containers; and if he will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Peter Walker)

I am very conscious of the increasing intensity of this problem, which is one of the questions which has been considered by a technical working party on refuse disposal. I await its report, which I expect to receive this month, in the hope that some action to solve the problem will be shown to be practicable.

Mr. Hall

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this problem has become so intense in the United States that a number of States have had to introduce legislation prohibiting the use of non-returnable containers? Would it not be better for us to consider this problem now and thus obviate the necessity of introducing restrictive legislation of that kind?

Mr. Walker

I agree that this is a fast-increasing problem. A technical working party will be reporting on this subject this month and we are examining evidence from the United States and other countries about the ways in which they have had to deal with this problem.

Mr. Ronald Bell

Will my right hon. Friend also examine the question of fiscal disincentives to the use of non-returnable containers?

Mr. Walker

We shall consider all the recommendations that are made in the report.