HC Deb 11 July 2002 vol 388 cc1127-8W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to encourage recycling of(a) paper, (b) glass, (c) aluminium and (d) inkjet cartridges. [67804]

Mr. Meacher

[holding answer 10 July 2002]: This Government are committed to increasing reuse and recycling of all materials. Waste Strategy 2000 set a national target of recycling or composting at least 25 per cent. of household waste by 2005, 30 per cent. by 2010 and 33 per cent. by 2015. To underpin these targets, last year we set statutory performance standards for recycling for all local authorities in England. Authorities are required, on average, to double recycling by 2003–04 and triple it by 2005–06.

These recycling standards are not material specific. It is up to the individual authority to decide which materials to collect for recycling, depending on local circumstances. Many authorities have introduced kerbside collection of recyclables and these often include paper, glass and aluminium.

We are taking various steps to help local authorities increase recycling. For example, the Waste Minimisation and Recycling Programme provides £140 million for local authority activities, and grants for the first year of funding have just been allocated. Around 58 of the schemes to be funded this year involve kerbside collection and a great number of these target the paper, glass and aluminium waste streams. In addition, schemes to increase bring site recycling and schemes that should raise awareness and consequently recycling rates, have also been approved.

We have also set up the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to tackle the market barriers to recycling. WRAP have made good progress so far, and have awarded a grant which will result in additional paper reprocessing capacity for 320,000 tonnes of waste paper per year.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, which the Government support, makes producers of electrical and electronic goods responsible for their recovery, treatment and environmentally sound disposal and covers inkjet cartridges if they are discarded with the printer.

Two of the amendments to the Directive proposed by the European Parliament are relevant to inkjet cartridges—amendment 7, which would give re-use of WEEE, its components, sub-assemblies and consumables priority over recycling, and amendment 22, which would prevent the production of equipment which has been manufactured in such a way as to prevent reuse. The Government fully support amendment 7 and support amendment 22 in principle. A final text is expected to be adopted by the end of this year.