Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked on: 09 April 2019
Department for Transport
Roads: Litter
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that Highways England enforces the terms of the contract agreed with Connect Plus in respect of litter clearance; and how many times Highways England has imposed a financial penalty on that contractor since the contract was awarded.
A
Answered by: Baroness Sugg
Answered on: 23 April 2019

Highways England conduct a monthly Environmental Audit inspection to ensure Connect Plus meet their contractual obligations in respect of litter.

Although there is no direct mechanism to apply financial penalties for failure to collect litter specifically, Connect Plus are monitored on their performance with respect to removing litter from the strategic road network. Failure to meet their contractual obligations can trigger various sanctions, which can range from increased reporting, additional monitoring to loss of entitlement to certain bonuses. In extreme cases, if the performance of a contractor persistently falls below the terms of the specific contractual arrangements across multiple aspects of performance, this could lead to contract termination through contractor default.

Q
Asked by Helen Hayes
(Dulwich and West Norwood)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 09 April 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Beverage Containers: Waste
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to reduce the use of disposable plastic bottles.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 15 April 2019

Our Resources and Waste Strategy, published 18 December 2018, sets out how we will eliminate all avoidable plastic waste.

The Government is currently consulting on proposals to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The aims of a DRS are to reduce the amount of littering in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, boost recycling levels for relevant material, and promote recycling through clear labelling and consumer messaging. HDPE and PTE plastic bottles are included in the proposals.

National Refill Day was launched in September 2018 to raise awareness for reusable plastic bottles and encourage the public to reduce plastic waste. We will continue to support initiatives from business and civil society where doing so drives further improvement and explore other avenues for progress in consultation with stakeholders.

Q
Asked by Helen Hayes
(Dulwich and West Norwood)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 09 April 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Plastics: Rivers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to reduce plastic pollution in rivers and streams.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 15 April 2019

The Government published the Resources and Waste strategy in December last year, setting out our plans to reduce plastic pollution with a target to eliminate all avoidable waste throughout the life of the 25 Year Environment Plan. Estimates show that the majority of aquatic litter originates from land based sources therefore our main approach to stemming the flow is by taking action on land.

We have already consulted on banning plastic straws, stirrers, cotton buds and extending the carrier bag charge. Since the introduction of the charge in 2015, 15.6 billion fewer bags have been handed out to shoppers by the seven main retailers. We are currently consulting on a number of key policy measures to significantly change the way that we manage our waste. These include: reforming existing packaging waste regulations; exploring the introduction of a deposit return scheme for drinks containers; and increasing consistency in the recycling system; with a parallel consultation on the ‘Plastic Packaging Tax’ that the Chancellor announced in the Budget last year. Legislative proposals will be developed taking account of the consultation responses.

The UK is already making great strides to tackle the plastic that blights our streets, rivers and oceans. Our world-leading ban on microbeads in rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products will help stop potentially billions of tiny pieces of plastic from entering the aquatic environment every year. We have also announced a £200,000 research project which will focus on microplastics derived from tyres and clothing. This will report shortly, and the evidence will help us develop policies to tackle the problem effectively.

Through its seven-point plan on plastics, the Environment Agency (EA) is exploring additional ways in which regulatory and voluntary initiatives could reduce plastics entering both the marine, and freshwater environments. The EA are working closely with the water industry and leading academics to investigate the types and quantities of microplastics entering the environment to identify where best to focus our efforts.

Wastewater treatment works are important pathways for contaminants, including microplastics, to enter the wider aquatic environment. Over £9 billion has been invested in England and Wales between 1990 and 2010 to improve sewage treatment works and collecting systems to limit polluting events, and £2 billion more is planned by 2020.

Q
Asked by Mike Kane
(Wythenshawe and Sale East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 21 March 2019
Department for Education
Education: Sustainable Development
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department (a) has taken since September 2015 and (b) plans to take up to 2030 to achieve sustainable development goal four, target seven on education for sustainable development and global citizenship.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 26 March 2019

There are many opportunities in and out of school for young people to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development and global citizenship (as outlined in Sustainable Development Goal 4.7). The Government introduced a reformed national curriculum in 2014, designed to focus on the essential knowledge that must be taught whilst empowering teachers to take greater control over the wider curriculum in schools.

Citizenship education is in the national curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4 and primary schools can teach it if they wish to. Citizenship aims to prepare pupils to play a full and active part in society. It includes teaching about local, regional and international governance and the UK’s relations with the rest of Europe, the Commonwealth, the United Nations and the wider world; human rights and international law; diverse national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom and the need for mutual respect and understanding

The reformed curriculum also provides young people with a strong foundation in environmental issues. At Key Stage 2 in geography, pupils must learn about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, and in science they learn about human impact on environments, such as the negative effects of population and development, litter or deforestation.

The national curriculum is just one element in the wide-ranging education of every child and there is enough time and space in the school day and year to expand beyond the national curriculum specifications. The Department also encourages schools to participate in the Department for International Development and British Council funded Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning (CCGL) programme, which builds on previous programmes that were running in 2015 that raised awareness and understanding of global issues in 33% of the UK’s schools. The Department co-launched the new £38 million CCGL programme in 2018, which will provide opportunities for pupils in the UK and in the developing world to learn about global issues, so they are better prepared to live and work in a globalised economy. The programme will build 4,500 long-term relationships between schools and communities in the UK and countries around the world, involving 3 million pupils.

Young people can also participate in the UK Government-funded National Citizen Service (NCS) and the International Citizen Service (ICS), which encourage young people to play a more active role in society by completing short term social action projects in their local communities, or volunteering projects in some of the world’s poorest communities to building understanding of global issues.

Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 21 March 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Poultry: Animal Welfare
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to (a) maintain and (b) increase animal welfare standards in battery hen farms.
A
Answered by: David Rutley
Answered on: 26 March 2019

The use of conventional (“battery”) cages for laying hens has been banned in the UK since 2012. Laying hens are kept in either enriched colonies, free range, barn or organic systems. Enriched colonies provide more space for the birds to move around and are legally required to provide nest boxes, litter, perches, and claw shortening devices which allow the birds to carry out a greater range of natural behaviours.

The new statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Laying Hens and Pullets provides improved and up-to-date guidance for owners and keepers on how to comply with the legislation and help maintain high animal welfare standards.

We intend to continue being a world leader in animal welfare after we leave the EU by maintaining and strengthening our already world-class welfare standards. As part of our move to higher regulatory standards we intend to develop publicly-funded schemes for farmers to deliver animal welfare enhancements beyond our high regulatory baseline that are valued by the public.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 18 March 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Litter: Havering
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many fixed penalty notices for littering were issued in Havering in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 25 March 2019

Defra does not collect data on the number of fixed penalty notices issued for littering.

The Honourable Member may want to ask Havering Council for this data.

Q
Asked by Paul Farrelly
(Newcastle-under-Lyme)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 19 March 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Plastics: Waste
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of being party to a legally binding international treaty on plastics with clear targets and standards.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 22 March 2019

The Government has taken on board existing relevant international agreements and commitments, which include the Basel Agreement, the Oceans Plastic Charter, and G7 and G20 Action Plans on Marine Litter.

Our focus is on immediate action to tackle the pressing problem of plastic pollution and plastic waste. Our recently published Resources and Waste Strategy includes an ambitious set of policies to support elimination of avoidable plastic waste. This includes a commitment to meet the ambition of the EU’s Single-use Plastics Directive.

We have also committed to work with other countries to magnify the impact of our domestic action. Accordingly we have signed up to the Ellen MacArthur New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, and we are spearheading efforts to support developing countries address plastic waste including through the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance and the Global Plastics Action Partnership.

Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
Asked on: 11 March 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Litter: Fines
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many fines have been issued for littering in each of the last 10 years for which records are available.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 18 March 2019

Data collection of fixed penalty notices was discontinued in 2009.

Reporting year (April to March)

Number

2008-09

35,465

2007-08

33,693

The number of fixed penalty notices issued for littering between 2007 and 2009 in England is presented in the table above. These are the most recent years for which records are available.

Q
Asked by Lord Luce
Asked on: 27 February 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Commonwealth: Environment Protection
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made in implementing decisions taken by the Commonwealth Heads of Government in London in April 2018 on (1) the Commonwealth Blue Charter, (2) the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance on marine plastic pollution, and (3) any other decision taken to improve the environment.
A
Answered on: 11 March 2019

In April last year, the UK hosted one of the most successful Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM) ever. All 53 members of the Commonwealth adopted the Commonwealth Blue Charter, agreed to establish action groups on ocean issues led by Commonwealth member countries and mandated the Secretariat to take forward a Commonwealth Blue Charter plan of action. Since CHOGM, nine action groups have now been proposed of which the UK Government has joined three so far: the coral reef protection, ocean acidification, and ocean and climate change action groups. The UK Government is in the process of joining the action groups on Mangroves and Marine Protected Areas.

The UK and Vanuatu also spearhead the groundbreaking Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance (CCOA), the action group to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution in the ocean. The CCOA has gained unparalleled support since its launch in April, increasing its membership from seven to 24 countries across the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the Pacific regions. In recognition of our global leadership on tackling the problem of plastic in the ocean, the Prime Minister has announced up to £66.4 million of UK aid to assist Commonwealth countries. This includes a technical assistance facility that will support developing countries in achieving their commitments under the CCOA, which was increased from £5 million to £10 million by the Prime Minister in August last year.

The first phase of the £6 million Commonwealth Litter Programme (CLiP) work in the Pacific region has been completed. Minister Coffey and Pacific country leaders attended a regional conference last month to showcase the marine litter action plans produced by the CLiP with Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. Furthermore, over 35 Government funded Commonwealth Blue Charter Fellowships are underway which continue to support emerging Commonwealth scholars to explore solutions to the marine plastics challenge. We have made tremendous progress in safeguarding our ocean since CHOGM 2018 and we expect even more successful action ahead of the next CHOGM meeting in Rwanda in 2020.

The UK is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, and tackling climate change and managing the natural environment is a core part of the Government’s international work. For example:

  • The UK has increased its contribution to the Global Environment Facility to £250 million in the latest replenishment round (2018-2022).
  • The Prime Minister will lead on galvanising international efforts on climate resilience at the UN Secretary General’s Summit in September this year.
  • As part of a £61.4 million package of UK support announced by the Prime Minister at CHOGM, together with further announcements made during the Prime Minister’s visit to Africa, the Government has committed support to priority countries to increase recycling and tackle poor waste management. This includes: £3 million to trial approaches to the management of plastic waste in cities in three developing Commonwealth countries (Bangladesh, Ghana and Uganda) and up to £10 million of technical assistance to developing countries that have signed up to the CCOA.

At the International Wildlife Trade Conference hosted in London in October last year, the Government reaffirmed its commitment to tackling the international wildlife trade and we are now investing over £36 million between 2014 and 2021 to counter the trade, including £900,000 of new funding to develop a British military counter-poaching taskforce in Africa.

At last year’s Katowice Climate Change Conference, the UK demonstrated its climate leadership through our instrumental role in the creation of a rulebook to bring the Paris Agreement to life. This common set of rules and metrics is essential for driving genuine climate action globally and for future agreements.

Since April last year the Green Climate Fund has approved the funding of $1.05 billion in funding proposals, and successfully launched its first replenishment for the second resource mobilisation phase. A further $122.5 million has been approved for readiness funding to be deployed this year. Polices related to results management, prohibited practices, the restructuring and cancellation of funding proposals and the appointment of the World Bank as Trustee were also approved. The Fund also selected its next Executive Director, who will serve a four year term from April.

As announced by the Foreign Secretary at CHOGM, the UK and New Zealand co-hosted a meeting at Wilton Park on 16-18 December to discuss climate change and resilience in the Pacific. The Forum was an opportunity to listen to Pacific concerns, needs and priorities in relation to climate change, and provided a space for representatives from across governments and the academic and private sectors to discuss innovative solutions to these challenges.

Q
Asked by Simon Hart
(Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire)
Asked on: 28 February 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Beverage Containers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to introduce (a) 25p per coffee cup surcharge, (b) bottle deposit scheme and (c) refillable water bottle policy.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 07 March 2019

The Government recognises the problems caused by disposable cups, which are difficult to recycle and often littered. At Budget 2018, the Government concluded that a levy on all cups would not at this point deliver a decisive shift from disposable cups to reusable cups across all beverage types.

The Government expects industry to go further in taking action on disposable plastic cups and will return to the issue if sufficient progress is not made. In the meantime, the Government is considering the case for reducing the environmental impact of disposable cups within a reformed packaging producer responsibility system and a potential deposit return scheme (DRS), which we are currently inviting views on through consultation.

The DRS consultation is being undertaken jointly by the UK and Welsh Governments, and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland. The consultation was launched on 18 February and will close on 13 May. The aim of a DRS is that it is easy for consumers to return drinks containers (such as plastic bottles, aluminium and steel cans, and glass bottles), reduce litter and increase recycling rates of drinks containers within the scope of a DRS.

The Government recognises the importance of making drinking water more readily available in public places, as a means of reducing single use plastic bottles. As laid out in the 25 Year Environment Plan and the Resources and Waste Strategy, we are already taking action in this area.

The Government has encouraged transit hub operators, including Network Rail and airports, to install free water fountains to support refilling water bottles.

The water industry is supporting the Refill campaign, which is managed by City to Sea. We are pleased to see new refill points being installed in every major city and town in England. There are now over 14,000 refill points on City to Sea’s free Refill app, and they aim to double this by 2020.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 26 February 2019
Treasury
Beverage Containers: Taxation
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to paragraph 3.59 of the Budget 2018 Red Book, what the evidential basis was for his Department concluding that a levy on all cups would not at this time be effective in encouraging widespread reuse; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Robert Jenrick
Answered on: 04 March 2019
The Government recognises the problems caused by disposable cups, which are difficult to recycle and often littered. At Budget 2018, the Government concluded that a levy on all cups would not at this point deliver a decisive shift from disposable cups to reusable cups across all beverage types. This conclusion is based on the submissions made to the government during the call for evidence on single use plastic waste and examining alternatives to current single-use cups containing plastic.

The Government expects industry to go further in taking action on disposable plastic cups and will return to the issue if sufficient progress is not made. The Government is also considering the case for reducing the environment impact of disposable cups within a reformed Packaging Producer Responsibility system and a potential Deposit Return Scheme.

Q
Asked on: 12 February 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Plastics: Recycling
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to include all sizes of plastic bottles in their proposed deposit return scheme.
A
Answered on: 25 February 2019

The Government has confirmed that it will introduce a deposit return scheme (DRS) for drinks containers in England, subject to consultation, aimed at boosting recycling rates and reducing littering.

We are consulting on two options for a DRS relating to size of containers: an ‘all-in’ DRS which would include containers of any size, and an ‘on-the-go’ DRS that would include containers smaller than 750ml. The scope of a DRS, including the size of drinks containers included in such a scheme, will be dependent on the results of the consultation.

Q
Asked by John Lamont
(Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)
Asked on: 25 January 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Polar Regions and Seas and Oceans: Waste
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what international representations are being made to reduce waste in the oceans in international waters and the Polar Regions.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 31 January 2019

The UK is committed to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 14 – preventing and significantly reducing marine pollution of all kinds. Marine litter is a global issue affecting every region of the world’s oceans and therefore needs global action. To achieve this goal we are working through a number of organisations and multilateral organisations.

We played a leading role within the G7 to drive ambitious action under the Ocean Plastics Charter in 2018 which has secured support from 16 governments and 20 businesses and organisations.

In April 2018 the Prime Minister launched the Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance, an action group under the Commonwealth Blue Charter that takes action on marine plastic pollution. Led by the UK and Vanuatu, 24 Commonwealth country members of the CCOA have pledged ambitious action to tackle plastic pollution. The CCOA is supported by a package of UK aid of up to £66.4m, which will provide technical assistance and boost much needed research and innovation to stop plastic entering the marine environment in the first place.

In the Polar Regions, the UK has maintained strong involvement in finalising the environmental aspects of the Polar Code, through the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Protection of the Marine Environment Working Group (PAME). The Polar Code includes mandatory measures covering pollution prevention from various wastes. The dumping of plastic waste in Antarctica is prohibited and UK fishing operators are leading action to reduce plastic pollution released into Antarctic waters.

Q
Asked by Jeremy Lefroy
(Stafford)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 28 January 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Litter
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much funding his Department has allocated directly to (a) Keep Britain Tidy and (b) other anti-litter initiatives in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 31 January 2019

The following table sets out the grant funding allocated to Keep Britain Tidy from 2010 to 2015:

Year

Grant

2010-11

£4.75 million

2011-12

£4 million

2012-13

£3.5 million

2013-14

£2.25 million

2014-15

£0.5 million

After 2015, no funding was specifically allocated to Keep Britain Tidy, but it has successfully bid for a number of litter-related contracts:

Year

Project

Contract value

2015-16

Analysis of Local Environment Quality Survey for England data 2014-15

£29,986

2017-18

Survey of roadside litter on trunk roads other than motorways

£79,000

2018-19

Economic valuation of the non-market benefits of dealing with specific types of litter that a Deposit Return Scheme in England would help to overcome

£41,525

Keep Britain Tidy was also awarded the following grant funding towards the delivery of national clear-up days in 2015-18:

Year

Grant

2015 (Community Clear-Up Day)

£9,500

2016 (Clean for the Queen)

£9,500

2017 (Great British Spring Clean)

£10,000

In 2017, we also launched the £450,000 Litter Innovation Fund (jointly funded by Defra and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government), to pilot, implement and evaluate small scale local research projects that could be replicated more widely. The Fund was open to applications from councils, community groups, campaign groups and small/medium-sized enterprises. A total of £122,449 was awarded to 13 projects in the first round, including 4 awards to Keep Britain Tidy, totaling £39,717. Full details of all the first-round awards are available online at:

http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/litter-innovation-fund

Defra has spent the following amounts on the development of the national anti-littering campaign (none of this funding was paid to Keep Britain Tidy).

Year

Purpose

Amount

2016-2017

Initial scoping and research

£15,868

2017-2018

Development of campaign and partnership strategy and stakeholder research, as well as testing and development of a campaign identify

£124,412

2018-2019

Campaign branding, creative assets and launch.

£50,000

Since 2015, Defra has also provided £5,000 per year to the Marine Conservation Society to carry out beach cleaning at priority beaches.

No funding has been allocated to other anti-litter initiatives.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 21 January 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Environment Protection: Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what new initiatives his Department plans to bring forward to tackle environmental crimes.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 29 January 2019

The Secretary of State commissioned an independent review into serious and organised crime in the waste industry which was published in November last year. The Resources and Waste Strategy sets out our new strategic approach to tackling crime and poor performance in the waste sector and actions in response to the recommendations of the review. We will:

  • consult on a fundamental reform of the waste carriers, brokers and dealers system to ensure that the supply of waste to criminals is curtailed;

  • consult on mandatory digital tracking of waste movements; and

  • work with the Environment Agency to create a Joint Unit for Waste Crime to deal with the threat of serious and organised criminal gangs.

These actions will build on the strong action we have already taken, including by:

  • legislating to enable local authorities and the Environment Agency to issue fixed penalty notices to householders who breach their duty of care to only pass their waste to authorised operators who can dispose of it legally and safely. The penalties came into force on 7 January this year;

  • enhancing local authorities’ and the Environment Agency’s ability to search and seize vehicles of suspected fly-tippers and introducing new powers for the Environment Agency to block access to problem waste sites.

  • increasing the fixed penalties for littering offence, and introducing new powers to tackle littering from vehicles. From April this year, the minimum fixed penalty for littering will rise from £50 to £65; and

  • consulting on improved guidance to litter authorities on the proportionate and effective use of their enforcement powers. The new guidance will be published shortly.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 21 January 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Environment Protection: Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many fixed penalty notices were issued by local authorities for environmental protection crimes in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 28 January 2019

Defra publishes annual fly-tipping statistics for England which include information on the number of fixed penalty notices issued in relation to fly-tipping offences only. This data is compiled on a financial year basis with the latest published data available for 2017/18. A summary of the annual figures on the number of fixed penalty notices issued by local authorities is given in the table below from the data published here: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fly-tipping-in-england.

Fixed penalty notices issued for fly-tipping offences in England:

Year

Fixed Penalty Notices issued in relation to fly-tipping

2013/14

36,835

2014/15

38,149

2015/16

35,888

2016/17

57,271

2017/18

68,618

We do not collect any data on fixed penalties issued for other environmental offences such as noise, littering, dog fouling or abandoned vehicles.

Asked on: 10 January 2019
Department for Transport
Roads: Litter
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which organisation has responsibility for clearing litter from motorways and trunk roads; and whether they also have powers to issue civil penalties to the owner of a vehicle from which litter is seen to be thrown.
A
Answered by: Baroness Sugg
Answered on: 23 January 2019

Highways England are responsible for cleaning litter on motorways and a small number of A roads. Local Authorities are responsible for clearing litter on all other A roads and All Purpose Trunk Roads.

District councils in England (outside London) have powers to issue civil penalties to the keepers of vehicles from which litter is thrown onto their roads. All local authorities can also prosecute or issue fixed penalties in lieu of prosecution for littering offences on any road within their area, including motorways. Highways England do not have any enforcement powers in respect of littering offences on the roads from which they are responsible for clearing litter.

Q
(Easington)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 09 January 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Fishing Gear: Labelling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing tagging for trawler fishing nets to identify the source of sea litter when those nets are washed up onshore.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 14 January 2019

The Government is committed to reducing plastic litter in the marine environment from all sources, including fishing. Governance is in place to address waste, including plastic, and there are voluntary schemes run here in the UK to encourage good practice.

For the purposes of fisheries enforcement, guidance is in place that requires masters of a fishing vessel using static gear or beam trawls to mark their fishing gear so that it is identifiable. If all or part of their gear is lost they must attempt to retrieve it as soon as possible. This would include trawler fishing nets. If they are unable to retrieve their lost gear they must notify the UK fisheries authorities.

At the 33rd Session of the Committee on Fisheries for the Food and Agricultural Organization, the issue of marine litter, and in particular lost or discarded fishing gear, was discussed at length. The UK supports the Committee’s endorsement of voluntary guidelines for the marking of fishing gear, which assist fisheries management organisations such as regional fisheries management organisations in the development and application of gear marking policy.

Work is now underway to begin the development of an extended producer responsibility scheme for fishing gear containing plastic. This will require producers to take responsibility for gear at the end of life stage, and schemes will be in place across the EU under the European Plastics Strategy.

Asked on: 12 December 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Plastics: Bottles
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many plastic bottles they estimate are used in the UK each year; what proportion of these plastic bottles is recyclable; and whether cans and glass bottles do more harm to the environment than plastic bottles.
A
Answered on: 28 December 2018

Evidence received as part of a Government Call for Evidence suggests that UK consumers go through an estimated 14 billion plastic drinks bottles a year, all of which are recyclable. Whether they are actually recycled depends on the local collection service and demand in end markets.

The aim of good waste management is to maximise recovery of useful materials and minimise impacts on the environment. There is evidence of the gradation of harm to the environment from the presence of different materials, however the Government has not carried out any assessment of the relative impacts of different types of litter on the environment.

WRAP’s (Waste and Resources Action Programme) carbon ready reckoner assesses the carbon impacts of different types of packaging. WRAP analysis suggests that it is not the material that is the determining factor of its carbon footprint, but rather other considerations such as packaging weight, recycled content, performance, and management of the packaging at end of life. The carbon footprint of all packaging materials can be reduced through optimising recycled content and weight.

Different materials have different environmental costs and benefits and, as set out in the Resources and Waste Strategy, our goal is to maximise the value of the resources we use whilst minimising waste and its impact on the environment.

Q
Asked by Steve McCabe
(Birmingham, Selly Oak)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 05 December 2018
Attorney General
Crown Prosecution Service
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 26 November 2018 to Question 194050 on Crown Prosecution Service: Staff, what other types of case were transferred to the police in the same period.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 10 December 2018

The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (the 1985 Act) provides that the DPP had a duty to take over the conduct of all criminal proceedings, save for specified proceedings.

Specified proceedings are designated by Section 3(3) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 and the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (Specified Proceedings) Order 1999 (the 1999 order) and include most motoring offences which are commenced by the police in accordance with Section 12 Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 by serving with the summons either a statement of facts about the offence or a copy of the written statements.

The 1999 order also provides that proceedings cease to be specified when a court begins to receive evidence. At that stage the duty for a prosecutor to conduct the proceedings engages.

Annex 1 provides the full list of offences falling within The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (specified proceedings) Order 1999) and including all amendments to date.

During the 2008 – 2018 period the following offences were added to the list of specified proceedings as follows:

Offences added in 2012:

No

Section

Statute

Offence

1.

s.3

Road Traffic Act 1988

Careless and inconsiderate driving

2.

s.35

Road Traffic Act 1988

Failing to comply with a traffic direction

3.

s.163

Road Traffic Act 1988

Failing to stop a motor vehicle or bicycle when required to do so by the police

4.

s.170

Road Traffic Act 1988

Failing to stop, report an accident or give information or documents when required to do so

5.

s.1(1)

Criminal Damage Act 1971

Criminal damage where the value of the property involved is no more than £5,000 (not including arson)

6.

s.12

Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001

Consumption of alcohol in a designated public place

7.

s.91

Criminal Justice Act 1967

Disorderly behaviour while drunk in a public place

8.

s.12

Licensing Act 1872

Being drunk in a highway, other public place or licensed premises

9.

s.63B(8)

Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

Failing to give a sample for the purposes of testing for the presence of Class A drugs

10.

s.12(3) and 14(3)

Drugs Act 2005

Failing to attend an assessment following testing for the presence of Class A drugs

11.

s.55 and 56

British Transport Commission Act 1949

Trespassing or throwing stones on the railway

12.

s.49

Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004

Knowingly giving a false alarm of fire

13.

s.5

Public Order Act 1986

Behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress

14.

s.11

Fireworks Act 2003

Contravention of a prohibition or failure to comply with a requirement imposed by or under fireworks regulations or making false statements

15.

s.80

Explosives Act 1875

Throwing fireworks in a thoroughfare

16.

s.87(1)

Environmental Protection Act 1990

Depositing and leaving litter

Offences added in 2014:

No

Section

Statute

Offence

1.

s.1

Theft Act 1968 (but only if the offence constitutes low-value shoplifting within the meaning of section 22A(3) of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980)

Theft (Shoplifting where the value of the stolen goods is worth £200 or less)

Annex 1 (Word Document, 147 KB)
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