§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what estimate she has made of the change in annual cost to the UK adhesive label manufacturing industry of the Environment Agency's reclassification of backing paper as packaging material; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) what assessment she has made of the impact of the Environment Agency's reclassification of backing paper as packaging material on the competitiveness of the UK adhesive label manufacturing industry. 
§ Mr. Meacher
The Environment Agency recently issued guidance clarifying that backing paper of labels should be treated as a packaging material. The Environment Agency has estimated that the cost in 2001 to the UK adhesive label manufacturing industry as a whole will be in the order of £430,000. The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 (as amended) should not place UK business at a competitive disadvantage in the domestic market given that imported packaging is equally obligated. Similarly, packaging which is exported from the UK is not obligated under the UK packaging Regulations.