Clause 17 - Strategy for England

Part of Waste and Emissions Trading Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 8th April 2003.

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Photo of Michael Meacher Michael Meacher Minister (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Environment) 4:45 pm, 8th April 2003

They are not hunky-dory, for the reasons that I have given. The waste situation is not only not hunky-dory, but is going seriously and fast in the wrong direction. It must be pulled round dramatically, vigorously and forcibly, which is exactly what the waste strategy is designed to do—[Interruption.] I will not be drawn on transport, but everyone knows that that is another extraordinarily difficult issue. No one in government will say that waste and transport policy is currently producing the results that we all want; it is not.

My responsibility is waste, not transport, and I am arguing that we are putting in place measures that will deliver on that. There are delivery mechanisms apart from the higher level targets. Reference has been made to the packaging waste directive and the waste electrical and electronic equipment directive. There are also the end of life vehicles directive and the batteries directive. Much of that is Brussels-driven. I am trying to take firm action on junk mail, which outrages me. Other delivery measures are necessary, and we are contemplating them.

I insist that, although the problem is bad and getting worse, as we bring to bear those forces—I am almost tempted to refer to the overwhelming firepower that we have been hearing about in recent weeks—we will begin to batten the defences and to overcome.