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55,000 signatures tell Blair to get it right on recycling - Lib Dems

February 11, 2004 12:00 AM

The Liberal Democrats will today present a 55,000-signature petition to the Prime Minister calling on the Government to put an end to the 32 million printer cartridges that are sent to landfill or incineration every year.

Under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive items such as printers must be recycled, but the Government claims that cartridges are classed as consumables and therefore do not have to be recycled. According to the 'Refill Not Landfill' campaign and the Liberal Democrats the Government is misinterpreting the Directive.

Norman Baker MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, said:

"Every year 6 million gallons of oil are used to replace the cartridges that end up in landfill sites or incinerators. That oil need not be used and is wasting valuable resources.

"The Government is hiding behind the detail of the WEEE Directive, but it's time it was exposed. There is no valid reason for printer cartridges to be excluded from this important recycling legislation."

Phil Willis, local Lib Dem MP for Cartridge World headquarters, added:

"Once again the Government is missing the point. Such a simple measure could make a huge difference to the environment and to the cost of cartridges to consumers. A refilled cartridge is half the price of a new one.

"55,000 signatures show just how important this issue is. The Government cannot ignore the 'Refill Not Landfill' campaign any longer."

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