Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum submitted by the European Commission


  Thank you for the opportunity to present information on the behalf of the European Commission at the UK inquiry on current issues relating to the disposal of domestic refrigerators. Please find herewith the answers to two questions that you asked the Commission.

Which parts of the Annexes refer to CFCs in foam?

  CFC-11 is the most common ozone depleting substance in foam in domestic refrigerators manufactured using CFCs. CFC-12 was also used but its use in foam was comparatively rare. These are the first two ozone-depleting substances on the list in Annex 1 of EC2037/00. The substances are grouped according to the same groupings in the Montreal Protocol and in the previous regulation EC3093/94 on ozone depleting substances. The groupings would therefore be very familiar to DEFRA staff who have experience working with ozone depleting substances in the Protocol, EC2037/00 and EC3093/94.

Could I ask for the same to be done in relation to Articles 1 and 2? I am anxious to know—as normally documents are read from the front to the back—at what point somebody reading this thing for the first time might have come across words which could have suggested to them that it was the totality of CFCs within a refrigerator that might be covered by this? The line of questioning up to now has centred on, "Could it in the real world actually be done?", but the early part of the Regulation defines the territory over which you want to try and cover and ensure that CFCs do not get released into the atmosphere, so perhaps we could have a little clarification.

  From 1 January 2002, Article 16(2) requires controlled substances to be recovered from domestic refrigerators using technologies and procedures described in Article 16(1). CFCs are controlled substances and, in this case, would refer to the CFCs in the cooling circuit. CFCs are also contained in foam. Foam is a product that is covered by Article 16(3) which requires controlled substances contained in products to be recovered using technologies and procedures described in Article 16(1), if practicable. Therefore, Articles 16(2) and 16(3) require CFCs to be recovered from all parts of domestic refrigerators, and Article 16(1) describes technologies and procedures for recovery and destruction.

  We showed in our survey results reported to the Inquiry that it is practicable to recover CFCs from all parts of the domestic refrigerators as this has been demonstrated by commercial facilities operating in Member States even prior to EC2037/00 coming into force on 1 October 2000. Recovery and destruction of CFCs in foam in domestic refrigerators is particularly important as typically two-thirds of the CFCs are in the foam and one-third in the compressor.

previous page contents

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Prepared 25 April 2002