SUPPLEMENTARY MEMORANDUM BY THE DEPARTMENT
OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (DSW 114(A))
When giving oral evidence to the Sub-Committee
on 28 November 2000, Patricia Hewitt MP, Minister for Small Business
and E-Commerce, undertook to provide further information on certain
issues in writing. The Clerk has since confirmed the Sub-Committee's
wish to have clarification on the following points, in the form
of a Supplementary Memorandum.
Q969. Details of any projections of the future
role of incineration
It is clear that some growth in energy from
waste capacity will be necessary in the coming years, since diversion
of waste away from landfill, required for the implementation of
the EC Landfill Directive, is unlikely to be achieved through
recycling and composting alone.
The Department does not have any firm figure
for the number of incinerators, or for other energy from waste
plant, which might be built in the coming years. We believe that
it is possible that up to a quarter of the UK's renewables target
for 2010 could be met by the recovery of energy from waste. This
figure is based on estimates in Waste Strategy 2000 for
the level of incinerator capacity that local authorities may consider
necessary, after minimising waste production and meeting the challenging
targets for recycling and composting.
Q982-984. Whether the eight PFI projects approved
for funding since the changes have included incineration and,
where they have, what scale of incineration plant is being proposed
and what the overall contribution of incineration is to the local
waste management plan
Seven of the eight waste PFI schemes so far
supported have included an incineration component: Isle of Wight,
Kirklees, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, South Gloucestershire,
Surrey, East London Waste Authority, and East Sussex and Brighton
and Hove. The eighth, Leicester City, does not include an incineration
component. PFI finances large integrated waste management projects.
Approval does not stipulate specific funds for individual waste
options within an overall scheme. The proportion of PFI credits
allocated to each option (eg recycling, incineration) may vary
between approval and procurement of the project.
Q988. Details of Leicester's PFI Scheme
These will be provided as soon as possible.
Q1022. Chewing gum: which Government Department
is responsible and what producer responsibility measures could
The general problem of chewing gum disposal
has been tackled by the Tidy Britain Group who are involved with
the Wrigleys Company on joint initiatives. Their aims are to educate
and encourage better gum disposal and to investigate alternative
methods of gum removal. To this end, Tidy Britain Group has set
up a Technical Working Group which includes representatives of
Local Authorities and the Wrigleys Company.
Q1040. An opinion on Mr Gummer's statement that
he thought there was a substantial amount of tax/regulation evasion
relating to the Packaging Regulations
A number of businesses have written to the Department
suggesting that the Government's recent decision to increase the
targets for recovery and recycling of packaging waste is partly
due to the result of poor policing by the Environment Agency of
"free-riders" and on under-reporting of obligations.
The Department's understanding is that the Environment Agency
is taking a much more robust approach than in the early days of
the Regulations, and that industry now acknowledges that the Agency
has made progress in tracking down free-riders. Through the Agency's
efforts, over 500 businesses who were not complying have been
brought into the Regulations. At this stage, although there is
frequent reference to a "free-rider" problem, there
is little evidence that there continues to be such a problem.
Nevertheless the Environment Agency has been encouraged to take
even greater action against non-complying businesses that might
be identified in the period up to the deadline for the Directive
targets next year.
The Environment Agency has also been doing some
good work in identifying the largest tonnages of packaging not
properly reported, although more can be done in this area. For
example, some 500,000 tones of imported paper not being reported
and consequently not included in the obligated tonnage, was identified
recently by the Agency and the situation has now been rectified.
Q1041. Details of the composition of the Tyre
The Sub-Committee is referring to the Used Tyre
Working Group (UTWG). This industry/Government group was formed
(as the Scrap Tyre Working Group) in June 1995, following the
introduction of the then-Government's producer responsibility
initiative. Its industry membership consists of UK tyre manufacturers,
importers and retailers.
A key element of the UTWG's work is preparing
for the consequences of the EC Landfill Directive, which will
progressively introduce a ban on the landfilling of tyres, leading
to a complete ban save for a few specific exceptions. That implies
a requirement to recover all tyres, providing a market for those
able to reuse, recycle and recover value from them. It is worth
noting that scrap tyres have a negative value, and therefore give
rise to a disposal charge.
As part of this work, the UTWG is looking at
how the reprocessing market is developing and how the development
of new capacity can be encouraged. The Group has visited retreading,
rubber crumbing and energy recovery facilities this year, as well
as holding an open forum meeting which was well attended by a
wide cross-section of industry stakeholders, including recyclers.
The UTWG plans to hold similar meetings in the future. The lack
of a representative trade body for tyre recyclers has made it
impracticable for individual businesses to be appointed to the
Group, but membership will be kept under review.