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Call to review policies "holding back" metals industry

A three pronged demand that UK Government policy makers review issues that hold back the metals recycling industry has come from the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA).

It said the UK metals recycling industry is crucial to the UKs ability to meet EU Directive targets for packaging recovery, end-of-life vehicles (ELV), batteries and the waste electrical and electronic equipment.

But BMRA director general Lindsay Millington added: Metal recycling is the UKs biggest recycling sector and already makes a major contribution to the economy and the countrys environmental performance. Given the right regulatory framework and political support, we can make an even bigger contribution.

The main areas where BMRA wants change were outlined in its recently launched Agenda for Change. It said: One size fits all regulation and the lack of an industry-focussed strategy are creating barriers to trade and stifling development.

Its Agenda calls for:

reclassification of recovered metals as a secondary raw material, not waste, which could be achieved through the new European Waste Framework going through the European Parliament;

a full review of regulation affecting the industry, leading to streamlining and sector specific guidance; 

the setting up of a Recycling Task Force bringing together Government and industry to develop a strategy to meet future European targets.

According to the BMRA reclassification is urgent if the UK is to sustain and grow its global market position. But, it added, in the meantime the Waste Shipment Regulations must not be allowed to block legitimate trade.

The organisation also expressed concern about the new Environmental Permitting Programme and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs exemptions review which it said could add to the regulation burden for metal recyclers. It also renewed its call for illegal operators to be stamped out.

Commenting on the Recycling Task Force Millington added: We urgently need a task force to work with the Government and industry to develop UK infrastructure to meet future European requirements.

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