The below Parliamentary question was asked by Julian Huppert on 2015-01-15.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will consult representatives from the compostable plastic bags industry as part of her Department’s review of industry standards for the biodegradability of plastic material; and on how many occasions (a) Ministers and (b) officials have met representatives of (i) oxo-biodegradable and (ii) compostable plastic bag companies in the last 12 months.
Neither I nor any of my Defra Ministerial colleagues have met representatives of either the oxo-biodegradable or compostable bag industries in the last 12 months.
At the official level, I set up a Stakeholder Advisory Group in September last year, which will be consulted as part of the review of industry standards for the biodegradability of plastic material. The Stakeholder Advisory Group met twice last year and includes Government officials as well as representatives of the Renewable Energy Association (who represent the compostable bag companies), the Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association, academics and a number of other industry stakeholders such as the British Plastics Federation and the Plastics and Films Association. We expect that this group will meet on three further occasions this year.
In addition, officials have met representatives of oxo-biodegradable firms on two occasions in the last 12 months to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications for funding under the Small Business Research Initiative. Officials have also met representatives of companies manufacturing compostable bags on three occasions in the last 12 months.