HC Deb 25 July 2000 vol 354 cc593-4W
Mr. Burgon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what consultations on the packaging regulations and related matters he plans in 2000; and if he will make a statement. [133098]

Mr. Meacher

A consultation on the charging mechanism for registration fees for compliance scheme members was published in May and the responses to that paper will be considered and decisions announced in due course. I will also shortly be issuing a paper with business recovery and recycling targets that the Government propose for 2001. The Government do not intend to carry out any further consultations in 2000.

In late 1999, the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions announced that it intended to carry out a consultation on the accreditation system for reprocessors under the packaging regulations, and related matters. However, earlier this year, an application for Judicial Review was made to the courts of a decision taken by the Environment Agency as to who should and who should not be accredited as a reprocessor for the purposes of the packaging regulations. As the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions is a party to this litigation, the proposed consultation will now be deferred until a court ruling has been given.

I was also minded to consult industry on proposals that have been put to me to change the operation of the Packaging Waste Recovery Note (PRN) System, but in view of the need for industry to focus fully at this stage on achieving the packaging directive recovery and recycling targets, which must be met in 2001, I have decided to defer the decision on whether to consult on this matter until after the deadline for meeting the directive targets has been met next year.