HC Deb 06 March 1995 vol 256 cc19-20W
Mr. Sweeney

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish the management plan setting out his policies on imports and exports of waste.

Mr. Atkins

My Department has today issued for public consultation a draft of the management plan or imports and exports of waste, copies of which have been placed in the Library. This sets out in detail the Government's policies on waste imports and exports, which were outlined in a statement on 15 June last year.

The waste management plan will be an important component in the system of controls over transfrontier movements of waste. It gives guidance to regulators and to industry as to the types of shipment which will in future be allowed into and out of the United Kingdom, and those which will not. In particular, it helps towards achieving the Government's aim of self-sufficiency in waste disposal, both at national and European Community levels. The plan is separate from, but consistent with, the waste strategy for England and Wales, a draft of which was yesterday issued for consultation.

The key proposals of the management plan for imports and exports are:

to ban exports from the UK for disposal to all countries;to allow exports for recovery to OECD countries, but, in line with decision II/12 taken by the parties to the Basel convention in March 1994, to ban exports of hazardous waste for recovery to non-OECD countries, other than in exceptional cases allowed under that decision;to ban most imports for disposal, other than exceptionally in the case of hazardous wastes from developing countries which cannot reasonably deal with the wastes themselves, or for small quantities from developed countries where the provision of specialised facilities would be uneconomic. For wastes destined for high temperature incineration, the draft plan incorporates a three-year transitional period during which progressively reducing volumes of imports would be allowed;to allow imports for recovery, while taking steps to ban imports for disposal under the guise of recovery—so called "sham recovery".

Subject to responses to consultation, it is our aim to publish the plan later in the spring.

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