§ Mr. Salter
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what new recovery and recycling targets for packaging waste for 2002 have been decided; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Meacher
New business recovery and recycling targets for packaging waste in 2002 under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 (as amended) have been agreed by the Government. Subject to the approval of Parliament, these are as followsRecovery 59 per cent.Material-specific recycling 19 per cent.
The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 were made to enable the UK to meet its obligations under the EC Directive on Packaging Waste, in particular the recovery and recycling targets in Article 6 of that Directive. The first targets that we and other member states had to achieve, in 2001, under the Packaging Waste Directive were that at least 50 per cent. of packaging waste be recovered, at least 25 per cent. recycled and 15 per cent. of each packaging material recycled.
On the assumption that the UK met these targets last year (and final figures are not yet ready), the targets I am proposing today should allow almost five million tonnes of packaging waste to be recovered in 2002.
My Department has, as was indicated in the recent consultation paper on targets for 2002, reviewed the figures that were used to develop the targets for 2002 in that paper and in light of the changes in the amount of packaging data reported by businesses obligated under the packaging Regulations, and the estimates for the tonnages expected to be obligated in 2002, the Government have decided on a recovery target of 59 per cent. and a material-specific target of 19 per cent.
As in previous years, the national targets for next year need to be seen as leading on to higher targets and the ones proposed by the Government should allow the UK to plan a smooth upward curve towards higher recovery and recycling targets over the next few years.
§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent measures have been introduced to encourage businesses to recycle waste. 
§ Mr. Meacher
[holding answer 18 March 2002]: We have introduced or are planning to introduce a range of measures to encourage businesses to recycle by both regulatory and voluntary producer responsibility schemes.
The EC Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste—94/62/EC—was implemented in Great Britain by the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 (as amended). In order to comply with the requirements in the Directive, recovery and recycling targets for 2001 under the packaging Regulations were 56 per cent. for recovery and 18 per cent. for material specific recycling of packaging waste.
The Regulations place obligations on certain businesses to recover and recycle specified tonnages of packaging waste. Their obligation is calculated by using three factors: the amount of packaging handled by the business, the national business recovery and recycling targets for 270W the year and the "activity obligation" associated with the activity the business carries out on packaging. Businesses can also reduce their obligation by using less and reusing packaging whenever possible. By increasing the amount reused, producers are able to reduce the tonnages of packaging waste they are required to recover and so lessen their costs of compliance.
We are transposing the EC Directive on End-of-Life Vehicles and the proposed Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment is expected to be adopted by the EC later this year.
A voluntary agreement is in place with the Newspaper Publishers Association to increase the recycled content of newsprint to target levels over a period of years up to 2006 and we are currently talking to the producers of direct mail and promotions with the aim of agreeing recycling targets for this material.