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Focus on developing UK's market for recyclates

Developing markets for recycled materials and improving the regulatory regime for recovering waste were put on the Government’s agenda at the launch of its waste strategy consultation.

Environment Minister Ben Bradshaw said he did not “bemoan” the fact that there were healthy markets for the country’s recyclables overseas, but did want to see the UK’s own market develop.

“I would like us to improve markets [for recyclables] at home but would rather China and India making things out of our waste than out of virgin material,” Bradshaw said.

In the Government’s earlier waste review, stakeholders reported that one of the obstacles to establishing markets for recyclates was that while a material was still legally ‘waste’ it was subject to regulatory controls, and therefore potential costs and burdens, that non-waste materials were not.

The consultation also proposes looking at the role exports play in meeting UK recycling targets and how to ensure the relevant export controls are met. It suggests strengthening the responsibility of local authorities, producers and regulators.

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