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China’s Green Fence highlights need for reforms, says UK recycler

The Government needs to act more quickly if it wants to achieve recycling targets by the end of its mandate, Closed Loop Recycling has warned.

The plastics recycler stressed the necessity of revising existing legislation and finalising measures such as the MRF code of practice, PRN reform and Transfrontier Waste Shipment Regulation enforcement in order “to provide a robust framework for the industry to invest and grow”.

The need to deliver such reforms has become more pressing in light of new factors putting pressure on the UK waste management and recycling industry, such China’s Green Fence Operation, according to Closed Loop Recycling chief executive Chris Dow and strategy committee chairman Paul Levett.

Chris Dow

Dow (left) said:  “The current situation in China and the impact it is having here in the UK, particularly in relation to PERNs, speaks volumes about the inadequacies of our existing legislation.”

The firm said that the PRN system incentivises waste companies to ship recycling waste material abroad for sorting instead of promoting its reprocessing in the UK so that it can be reused in British packaging.

“The results are: less British infrastructure, less British jobs and greater reliance on unreliable international markets. Legislation needs to change to rectify this,” said Dow.

He added that if no prompt action is taken to address the loopholes and unintended consequences of current regulations, the potential to develop the UK industry will be “lost to overseas markets”.

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