§ Jeremy Corbyn
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what her estimate is of the changes in packaging quantities on(a) food and (b) non-food goods on retail sale over the past five years; what proportion of this is recyclable; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) what plans she has to reduce packaging on retail sales; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Meacher
[holding answer 19 July 2002]The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 (as amended) include incentives for businesses to minimise the amount of packaging they use and actively encourage the reuse of packaging. Packaging which is being reused carries no obligation after its first obligated trip. By increasing the amount of packaging reused, producers are therefore able to reduce their costs of compliance. By placing a tonnage obligation on producers, the Regulations also encourage them to reduce the amount of packaging used.
In addition, the Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 1997 include a requirement that packaging must be minimal subject to the safety and hygiene of the packed product to the consumer. The Regulations are enforced by local Trading Standards Officers, and two examples of prosecution under these regulations are known to the Department.
We have no detailed information on the quantity of packaging used in food and non-food goods on retail sale.