§ Mr. Meacher
[holding answer 22 January 2003]:We have set all local authorities statutory performance standards to increase recycling and provided additional funding to deliver these standards. It is for local authorities to decide whether to focus on particular parts of waste stream such as plastic bottles. However, I would expect increasing numbers of local authorities to put in place a collection infrastructure for these as standards increase.
The Producer Responsibility Regulations we have in place require relevant businesses to recover and recycle packaging waste including plastic. That framework also generates income that is used for collection capacity, end use markets and reprocessing capacity.436W
The Government has also established the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to create more stable and efficient markets for recycled materials and products, and to tackle the barriers to increased reuse and recycling. WRAP has identified plastics as a priority area in its business plan to 2003–04 and one of its aims is to achieve a 20,000 tonne increase in the mixed plastics processing for industrial products by 2003–04.
WRAP has completed a research project on plastic bottle recycling, funded regional workshops on plastic recycling and has announced that it is considering whether to part fund an automated plastic bottle recycling plant.