HC Deb 08 November 1995 vol 265 cc994-5W
Mr. Illsley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on what basis he has rejected the seventh option for shared producer responsibility submitted to him by the industry group, V-WRAG. [40346]

Mr. Clappison

The previous Minister for the Environment and Countryside wrote to the chairman of V-WRAG on 23 June and 5 July explaining that, in their original form, the share producer responsibility proposals fell well short of meeting the criteria for an effective legal obligation to support the recovery and recycling of packaging waste. These criteria were published by the Government on 2 February,Official Report, columns 763–64. Copies of the correspondence are in the Library. The principal gap in the SPR proposals in their original form was the lack of any quantified obligation, by which an individual company's recycling and recovery effort could be measured. This is essential if we are to measure progress towards meeting the EC directive targets and to provide enforceable legislation to deter "free riders".

In August the Government produced a supplement to their consultation paper on "Producer Responsibility for Packaging Waste" which made clear that a shared responsibility option could be adopted providing it contained a quantified obligation, and a mechanism for disaggregating this across the different members of the packaging chain. The paper was intended to promote debate on the best means of achieving this and meeting the published criteria. Discussions with industry on this matter have continued to date.