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China move won't harm UK markets, insists Valpak

By Greg Pitcher

Valpaks recycling business has opened a Chinese office to ensure smoother export to the country but insisted it will continue to put UK markets first.

Valient Recycling this week announced it was setting up a base in Tianjin, near Beijing, to keep a close eye on material sent there for reprocessing.

China is an ever-growing market for UK recyclables, and attracted more than 3,500 applications for the registration needed from last week to send waste to the Asian country.

Valient was one of the first UK firms to receive that documentation from Chinas General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).

Valient intends to use its links with Chinese authorities and recyclers to export around 15,000 tonnes of material to China between now and December 31.

Asia is expected to consume 60% of the worlds metal in 2010 and already takes in huge amounts of paper and plastic waste from Europe.

And there was controversy last week when Northumberland County Council said it was appalled by SITA sending waste collected in the county for recycling in India.

But packaging compliance firm Valpak said this week it would always make a priority of the development of UK end-markets.

A spokesman for the company said: A relatively low proportion of our material goes to China. Around 70% is reprocessed in the UK, 15% in Europe and the remaining 15% in China.

Valient Recycling general manager Mike Jefferson added: Obviously Valient Recycling will continue to have a strong presence in the UK. We will continue to have a commitment to supporting UK markets.

However, we do recognise the need for exporting, particularly when grades of material have limited outlets or their collection exceeds UK reprocessing capacity.

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