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WRAP pledges funding for harmonisation switch

WRAP has pledged to ring-fence funding to support local authorities making a switch to its harmonised collections drive.

The charity published its Framework for Greater Consistency in Household Recycling for England report following work with an advisory group of representatives from across the sector, and supported by Defra and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (Larac) backed the scheme, but said “for progress to be made quickly, it will require funding that councils do not have”.

Larac previously said Defra had told it that no new funding would be provided.

But now WRAP chief executive Marcus Gover (pictured) has told MRW the charity plans to ring-fence funding to support local authorities making the switch.

He said the consistency drive would be a focal point for the chief executive, a role he assumed earlier this year. 

“This is not a top-down mandate,” he added, “but an offer of support.”

One measure the charity’s framework did not include was a national colour scheme for boxes, bags and bins, after it concluded that this would pose an unnecessary cost burden of around £29m a year across a decade and needed further consideration.

Head of collections and quality Linda Crichton said: “We did give consideration to it initially but at almost £300m it was not practical.”

She said WRAP looked at the frameworks already proposed by the devolved governments of Scotland and Wales and said the charity’s multi-stream option mirrored those, while the other options also included the same materials.

All three of WRAP’s options include separate food waste collections.

A joint statement from ACE-UK, Alupro, British Glass, Confederation of Paper Industries, Recoup and the Resource Association:

“We warmly welcome the WRAP report on consistency and commend them for the thorough and inclusive way they have undertaken this important task. In what is a complex set of issues within which there are many challenges, WRAP has set out a clear vision which, if implemented, would lead to greater clarity about the labelling of packaging to indicate recyclability as well as improved commonality of approach to the collection of packaging materials for recycling.

“The economic and environmental case for greater consistency is compelling. Our industries are committed to playing a full part in realising this vision and will support the actions that follow on from the report. The challenge for the Government, local government and the recyclate collection and sorting industries will be in responding to our continued concerns about the costs of dealing with contaminated recyclate, and working with us in partnership to realise the full potential of the UK’s recycling and reprocessing industries.

“This report is an important next step on this journey and represents an opportunity with long-term and long-lasting benefits. It will take time, but it is a significant step forward.”

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