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Waste Regulations

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 13th May 2002.

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Photo of Malcolm Bruce Malcolm Bruce Liberal Democrat, Gordon

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what levels of (a) business packaging waste recovery and (b) business packaging recycling in the United Kingdom were in each year since 1997; what assessment has been made of how the United Kingdom compares with Europe; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Michael Meacher Michael Meacher Minister (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Environment)

Packaging waste recovery and recycling achieved by businesses obligated under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 (as amended) from 1997 to 2001 was as follows:

Recovery and Recycling 1998–2001
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
Paper (1)n/a 1,894,086 1,820,732 1,880,414 2,030,944
Glass 503,800 582,577 715,037 735,594
Aluminium 14,517 15,402 16,299 29,030
Steel 182,409 225,216 238,668 278,079
Plastic 125,539 198,461 204,430 269,962
Wood 170,000(1) 94,000(1) 296,437 573,951
Alt. evidence 30,741
Total recycling 2,890,351 3,084,296(2) 3,351,285 3,917,560
Percentage (2)27 28 33.5 36.5 42
EfW 448,354 496,269 500,047 513,939
Total recovery 3,338,705 3,506,611 3,851,332 4,462,240
Percentage (2)30 33 38 42 48
Tonnes in waste stream 10,240,000 9,189,981 9,179,981 9,313,900

(1) Breakdown by material not available for 1997

(2) Approximate

The UK's current recovery and recycling rates of 48 per cent. and 42 per cent. have been achieved in the four years from 1998 to 2001. Other member states began focusing on packaging waste recovery/recycling in the early 1990s. A number of them have achieved much higher recovery/ recycling rates while others remain close to or just above the UK rate.

Figures from the European Commission show the following recovery and recycling rates for European Union member states in 1998.

Recovery and recycling rates in member states 1998 -- Percentage
Recovery rate Recycling rate
Austria 70 65
Belgium 73 64
Denmark 89 50
France 56 45
Germany 67 65
Italy 35 28
Netherlands 62 62
Spain 37 34
Sweden 68 61
UK 33 28

Source:

European Commission

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