asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will convene a national conference on excess consumer packaging to secure a manufacturer-distributor agreement on early reductions in such packaging.
Discussions on reducing packaging waste are being led by my honourable friend the Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with the support of the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) through the medium of the Courtauld commitment. The commitment, which now has as signatories 13 major retailers, responsible for 92 per cent of the grocery market in the UK, together with eight of the largest suppliers to the grocery sector, has the objective of stopping the growth of packaging waste by 2008 and securing an absolute reduction by 2010. WRAP is also working closely with industry players across the supply chain on initiatives to reduce the volume of packaging, including looking at the design and light-weighting of packaging, and to increase the recyclable content of packaging material. With these developments in mind, it is my view that there is no need for a specific national conference at the moment.