UK production industries are spending up to £5bn a year on environmental protection, according to a government report.
The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions said manufacturing, extractive and energy supply industries spent between £3.5bn and £5bn on environmental protection in 1997.
About a third of this was spent on water protection measures, with waste management and air pollution measures accounting for 25% each.
The figures do not include expenditure by the `environment’ sector, such as the waste management and water industries, but cover payments by production industries for their services.
The survey was the second by the DETR, following a pilot exercise in 1994. From this year, EU regulations require member states to publish the information.