HC Deb 19 July 1977 vol 935 cc493-4W
Mr. Knox

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

Mr. Marks

The Department has a substantial research programme on uses of refuse. This includes work on the use of waste material as landfill and on the treatment of wastes to recover what can be burnt. This is mainly paper and plastics, which can serve as supplementary fuel for boilers and furnaces. Research has been sponsored by the Department on other means of reusing plastic waste but none has yet proved cost-effective.

Mr. Andrew F. Bennett

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress his Department has made during the last six months in recycling waste.

Mr. Cryer

I have been asked to reply.

My Department has continued, in close co-operation with the Department of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, to support the work of the Waste Management Advisory Council and the Director of the national anti-waste programme in encouraging the increased recovery and recycling of waste materials. A list of national priorities has been established in which the most important, in terms of resource and import savings, are waste paper and metal

dealt with by the Department in the last three years is as follows:

scrap. A national campaign was launched on 22nd June 1977 to encourage voluntary organisations to collect waste materials, and this has aroused considerable public interest. My Department is working in close consultation with the manufacturing and reclamation industries on these matters. Copies of the relevant booklet are available from the Vote Office.