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Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if he will assess the effect on the landscape, with particular reference to (a) railway embankments, (b) waterway verges, (c) public parks and (d) other public areas of the changes to the availability of pesticides proposed in the draft EU Regulation on plant protection products; if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of manual weed control in such areas; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) if he will undertake research to assess the effect on physical exercise levels of those who undertake gardening (a) at home and (b) on allotments as a result of any changes to patterns of gardening activity resulting from the proposed EU Regulation on placing of plant protection products on the market; if he will also undertake research to assess effects of such changes on people with disabilities; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The majority of pesticides are used in agriculture. Pesticides Safety Directorate's impact assessment, which was published in May 2008, therefore focused on the agronomic impacts of changes to pesticide availability arising from these proposals. It recognised that there could be wider implications, but did not analyse them in detail, as the agronomic assessment provided sufficient indication of the potential impacts to determine our response. On 5 November the European Parliament Environment Committee voted on a range of amendments that reduce the potential impact of the new regulation on the availability of pesticides.
Jane Kennedy: The Government's Waste Strategy 2007 set the objective of making the free single-use carrier bag a thing of the past. We are working with retailers who are making good progress towards reducing the numbers of bags they distribute, setting themselves ambitious individual targets.
The powers we have introduced into the Climate Change Bill, enable the Government to require retailers to charge for single use carrier bags as a fallback should retailers fail to make significant reductions on a voluntary basis.
Huw Irranca-Davies [holding answer 10 November 2008]: The UK is working to meet ambient air quality limit values in the shortest time possible. The UK Air Quality Strategy that was published in 2007 provides full details, and can be found on the DEFRA website. Over the past 10 years the quality of our air has improved and apart from some hotspots alongside busy roads in major cities we are meeting our current objectives for all pollutants in 99 per cent. of the UK.
In response to difficulties faced across Europe, the new ambient air quality directive (2008/50/EC), which replaces the earlier 1996 directive and three other related directives, provides in Article 22 for a notification procedure for member states to be able to seek authorisation from the EU Commission for additional time to meet the limit values for particulate matter (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
On PM10 limit values, in September the Government made the European Commission aware that, subject to public consultation, the UK intends to submit an Article 22 application for an exemption for those few parts of the UK where there have been breaches, including London, from the obligation to apply the limit value until 2011. Most other member states will also be submitting applications. We expect to consult early in 2009.
On nitrogen dioxide, the limit values are extremely challenging and despite efforts to date, the UK, like most other member states, expects to report breaches beyond the 2010 compliance deadline. The problem is mainly concerned with existing pollution from road traffic both in London and in other major cities across the UK. Again, subject to public consultation, the Government expect to submit in 2010 an application to the Commission which would give the possibility of a further five years to meet the limit values for nitrogen dioxide.
For both these pollutants, securing such postponement of attainment deadlines is subject to submission of detailed plans that will need to satisfy the Commission that the limit values can be achieved by the extended deadlines. We are determined to tackle remaining hotspots of pollution and to meet our EU obligations.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he proposes to respond to the letter to him dated 23 October 2008 from solicitors Harrison Grant, acting on behalf of the 2M Group, on pollution levels around Heathrow. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what records (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action Programme keeps on which waste collection authorities have adopted compulsory recycling collection policies. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the amount of recycled waste of (a) paper and (b) plastics in the last period for which figures are available; what proposals he has for their disposal and in what timeframe; and how many energy-from-waste plants have been built in each of the last three years. 
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much waste was recycled by each local authority in the ceremonial county of Hampshire in each of the last five years. 
Jane Kennedy: The following table shows the amount of municipal waste sent to be recycled, composted or reused by each authority in the ceremonial county of Hampshire in the financial years 2003-04 through to 2007-08.
|Municipal waste sent for recycling|
| Source: DEFRA municipal waste management survey and WasteDataFlow.|
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what volume and proportion of household recycling was deposited in landfill in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Jane Kennedy: Based on responses from local authorities in England to WasteDataFlow for the financial year 2007-08, the tonnage of municipal waste collected for recycling, but subsequently rejected to landfill was 90,000 tonnes. This represents 0.9 per cent. of municipal waste sent for recycling in that period.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 11 November 2008, Official Report, column 1013W, on shellfish: Colchester, what the membership
of the applicant group is; and on what dates his officials have sent reminders to the applicant group since May 2007. 
Huw Irranca-Davies [holding answer 18 November 2008]: The membership of the applicant group consists of three producers and three producer/processors, of which Richard Haward of Richard Haward Oysters and Christopher Kerrison of the Colchester Oyster Fishery Ltd. are the main contact points.
Officials last met the representatives of the applicant group to discuss the application to protect Colchester Oysters under the EU-protected food name (PFN) scheme as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) on 1 May 2007. Following that meeting a revised application highlighting the additional information required was passed to the applicants for their comments on 15 May 2007. Since then reminders have been sent by officials on the following dates:
16 July 2007email
5 September 2007telephone
12 October 2007email
8 November 2007email
10 January 2008telephone
29 April 2008email
8 October 2008email.
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