HC Deb 17 June 2003 vol 407 cc188-9W
Mr. Truswell

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what benefits she has identified for(a) the environment and (b) employment and business arising from the recycling of ink and toner cartridges; [117190]

(2) what representations she has received regarding the future recycling of ink and toner cartridges; and what steps she is taking to ensure continuation of this practice. [117192]

Mr. Morley

The UK imports 10 million toner and 30 million inkjet cartridges each year, which produce about 20,000 tonnes of waste at the end of their life. The industry estimate that, at present, some 30 per cent. to 40 per cent. equivalent to 6–8,000 tonnes, of these are collected and reused or recycled. Businesses and individuals purchasing refurbished toner cartridges, rather than paying original product prices, save a total of more than £200 million per year.

According to the industry, in the UK there are over 100 companies that remanufacture ink and toner cartridges for reuse, employing over 2,000 people. These are supported by over 20 component manufacturers and suppliers. Altogether, the industry has a turnover of over £150 million per annum.

I understand that the industry is concerned that original equipment manufacturers are using anti-recycling devices in order to make the refurbishment of printer cartridges more difficult. The whole issue of eco-design will be addressed in the context of two upcoming initiatives from the European Commission, the forthcoming proposal for a framework directive on the Eco-design of Energy-Using Products (EuP) and a Communication on Integrated Product Policy (IPP).

Forward to