HC Deb 21 February 1990 vol 167 c925
12. Mr. Livsey

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received with regard to the disposal of pharmaceutical waste.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. David Heathcoat-Amory)

My right hon. Friend has received many representations about the disposal of clinical waste.

Mr. Livsey

Why have the Government applied for a licence to dump pharmaceutical waste in the North sea in contravention of the 1987 agreement that dumping in the North sea would be phased out by December 1989? What does he think of the ad-hoc committee on dumping in the North sea voting by 13 to one against the British decision to dump in the North sea?

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food grants some licences for the disposal of liquid industrial waste in the North sea. That includes some waste arising from the production of pharmaceuticals. The waste is carefully monitored and is not toxic in the sea. We are pursuing land-based alternatives as an option in line with our obligations under the North sea conference.