The resource minister has apologised to the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) for a delay in responding to its report on the upcoming plastic bags levy.
However, in his reply to a letter sent by EAC chair Joan Walley, Dan Rogerson did not provide details of the reasons behind the delay.
Walley wrote to Rogerson in April and expressed disappointment for not having received a response to an EAC report published in January which had deemed proposals for the upcoming bags charge “unnecessarily complicated”.
She said the Government had attributed the delay to Defra having to consult other departments, but asked for this reason to be further elaborated.
On 12 May, Rogerson replied (file right): “I’m grateful for the effort the committee made to take evidence on the Government’s proposals and to produce a report so rapidly. The evidence you gathered has proved helpful and I can assure you we have looked closely at the committee’s report’s recommendation.
“I’m sorry for the continued delay with the Government’s response to the committee’s report. You will have the response as soon as I am able.”
The 5p levy is set to come into force in England in autumn 2015.
It has sparked a heated debate between sections of the plastics industry over the legitimacy of an exemption for biodegradable bags.
- Defra has recently defended its decision to implement the levy no sooner than autumn 2015 in response to criticisms from the department’s watchdog EFRA committee.