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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what processes are in place to encourage recycling of products to be disposed of under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive; and how these processes are publicised by his Department. 
The UK WEEE regulations place a number of obligations on the producers and distributors of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) to provide information to consumers as to how best they can dispose of their old equipment to help protect the environment. These obligations came into force from 1 July 2007.
The Department has worked closely with all stakeholders and interested parties to ensure that all are aware both of their obligations under the regulations and of the new arrangements. It will continue to do so as, and when, these are reviewed and changes are made.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the products by (a) amount and (b) weight of waste products under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive which go to (i) recycling and (ii) landfill. 
The waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive introduced producer responsibility for WEEE. Producers must pay for the treatment and recycling/recovery of separately collected WEEE in the UK.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress he has made towards the review of the operation of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive; and what amendments he proposes to its implementation in the UK. 
A review of the UK's WEEE regulations was announced by my right hon. Friend the then Minister for Energy at a WEEE stakeholder event on 9 July 2008. A full 12-week public consultation exercise will be undertaken to decide whether any changes to the existing regulations are necessary. It is hoped that this consultation will begin before the end of the year so that any changes can be put into place for the start of the 2010 compliance period.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the size of the bluefin tuna fleet in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean; and what proposals on bluefin tuna fleet capacity he plans to put forward at the forthcoming meeting of the contracting parties of the International Commission on the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna in Marrakech. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) will be discussing a wide range of issues concerning the bluefin tuna stocks in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean.
At the last meeting of the capacity working group held in Madrid in July 2008, it was agreed that measures needed to be taken to reduce the size of the fleet operating in this fishery. Work has already started on reduction of the EU fleet with a freeze on capacity already agreed, and scaling down will follow. The EU will be urging other contracting parties within the fishery to take similar action.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department plans to attend the meeting of the contracting parties of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna in Marrakech as part of the EU delegation. 
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether there are plans for his Department to begin keeping records of equine semen imports to the UK. 
Jane Kennedy: Records are kept by Animal Health at each local animal health office. All consignments of imported semen are required to be accompanied by health certification under EU law. Animal Health carries out checks on consignments to ensure health conditions are met.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to assist horse breeders in verifying the provenance of imported equine semen. 
Jane Kennedy: All consignments of imported semen are required to be accompanied by health certification under EU law. Animal Health carries out checks on consignments to ensure health conditions are met.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department has spent on stewardship payments for Heritage Trust List ponies in the last three years; and how many Heritage Trust Pony passports have been issued since the scheme was established. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Natural England holds information on Environmental Stewardship (ES) agreements which support farmers grazing native breeds, including Dartmoor ponies. However, information on the individual breeds is not recorded centrally and will have to be assembled separately by looking at individual agreements. I will place this information in the Library by the end of December.
ES expenditure on grazing by rare breeds (equines, sheep, cattle or goats) paid since the scheme started in February 2006 is £543,760, on 220 agreements (£223,584 in the south-west region, on 82 agreements).
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the extent of regulatory compliance of commercial hazardous waste incinerators; and what procedures are in place for the inspection of such incinerators. 
Jane Kennedy: The regulation and compliance assessment of hazardous waste incinerators is the responsibility of the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency ensures compliance with permit conditions which are based on national legislation and European directives, and places operator monitoring returns on public registers. In case of a breach of the permit conditions, the Environment Agency takes action in accordance with its published policy on enforcement and prosecution. It also carries out plant inspections at a frequency determined on the basis of risk using its operator performance and regulatory assessment (OPRA) tool.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with US Administration officials on the export of British meat-based products to the US. 
Jane Kennedy: Working closely with industry, we are focusing our resources on those third countries where there is likely to be the greatest success in obtaining access for British meat exports. We will continue to play a full role in EU negotiations with the US to lift their current ban on ruminants and ruminant products introduced as a result of the BSE epidemic.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when a reply will be sent to the hon. Member for West Chelmsford's
letter of 23 July (Reference: MC 95922/TP) concerning Mrs. C Anstey of Chelmsford; and what the reasons are for the time taken to reply. 
I can only apologise for the delay in responding which was due to an unfortunate combination of necessary policy updates, parliamentary summer recess and the changeover to DEFRA'S ministerial line-up.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of the current economic situation on demand for (a) organic, (b) free range and (c) fair trade food. 
Jane Kennedy: The Government have not made their own assessment of the impact on demand for these categories of food, but we do monitor data collected by others on changes to consumer purchasing of food and we maintain good contacts with producers and with the major retailers. Early indications suggest that sales of organic products are falling while sales of fair trade products are holding up.
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent efforts his Department has made to encourage retailers to reduce waste from packaging; and if he will make a statement. 
The Waste and Resources Action programme (WRAP) is working with retailers through the Courtauld Commitment. The Courtauld Commitment is a voluntary agreement between WRAP, DEFRA, the Scottish and Welsh Governments and the UK grocery
sector to achieve significant reductions in household packaging and food waste. WRAP announced on 28 July that the grocery sector has achieved the first objectiveto end packaging growth in the UKdespite unanticipated challenges including 1.8 per cent. growth in the grocery sector and population growth of 0.5 per cent. per annum. The commitment is due to run until 2010. Discussions are ongoing for an ambitious successor agreement. Currently 32 major retailers, representing around 92 per cent. of the grocery sector, have signed up to this agreement. In addition, individual supermarkets have made their own additional commitments to reduce even further the amount of packaging they use.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Environment Agency on the contribution polytunnels make to (a) surface water run-off and (b) flood risk in rural areas. 
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the volume of (a) total and (b) recyclable waste produced in England, broken down by (i) source and (ii) type of waste, in each of the last 10 years. 
Jane Kennedy: The available estimates of total waste in England by source and type of waste for 1998-99, 2002-03, 2004 and 2006 are presented in Table 1. Recycling and reuse figures are only available by sector in 1998-99 and 2002-03 (Table 2), and are presented by waste type for 2004 and 2006 (Table 3). Estimates for intervening years have not been made.
|Table 1: Estimated total waste by source and type in 1998-99, 2002-03, 2004 and 2006|
|Paper and card||Animal and vegetable||General and mixed||Metals and scrap equipment||Mineral wastes and residues||Chemical and other||Total|
1. Agricultural waste is estimated from the Environment Agency's model of agricultural waste arisings.
2. Mining and quarrying wastes are estimated from production and ratios of waste to product. Estimates may be revised in light of implementation of the Mining Waste Directive.
3. Industrial and commercial wastes estimates are from the Environment Agency's National Waste Production Survey in 1998-99 and 2002-03. Data for later years are estimated from the 2002-03 survey data and updated business population figures. This provides an indicative estimate of waste arisings, but does not capture changes in waste management or resource use since the 2002-03 survey. Therefore, these estimates should be interpreted with some caution.
4. Construction and demolition wastes estimates are from the survey into alternatives from primary aggregates, commissioned by Communities and Local Government in 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005. Figures for 2004 and 2006 includes estimates for non-aggregate wastes from this sector.
5. Sewage waste estimates are provided by Water UK.
6. Dredging wastes are from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science.
7. Household waste is from local authority returns to the municipal waste management survey.
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