HC Deb 14 February 1973 vol 850 cc349-50W
Mr. Knox

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what research his Department is undertaking into the uses of refuse, particularly of plastics; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

My Department is sponsoring research at Warren Spring Laboratory into separation processes for extracting ferrous and non-ferrous metals and other re-usable materials from refuse; and into the pyrolysis of refuse involving the recovery of metals and the production of potentially useful fuels. Warren Spring Laboratory has also carried out an investigation into the recovery of metals from incinerator ash. Projects are being under- taken to assess pollution risks from the use of domestic and industrial wastes in land reclamation.

Experimental work has been done by one or two firms into the re-use of plastics extracted from refuse and some of the results are attractive, but the wide range of plastics involved and the presence of contraries have caused considerable practical and economic difficulties. The purposes for which waste plastics can be reused are not unlimited.

Forward to