A guide on how to export materials for recycling in an environmentally friendly and legal way has been published by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
The guide ‘Municipal MRFs materials export study’ highlights a number of good practice case studies. It also maps out the export supply chain; the UK export supply chain and the foreign export UK supply chain; before finally reporting its conclusions.
Some of the areas that the report outlined as being key to good practice included proper staff training, quality control, good record keeping, material tracking, auditing, and representation in the destination country.
The report stated: “[MRFs] should also ensure there is full traceability of the material from ‘cradle to grave’ so they can demonstrate their ‘Duty of Care’ to ensure that the material has been sent for recycling at a known reprocessor operating with the appropriate license and to ‘broadly equivalent standards’.”
The report recommended that MRFs and brokers exporting materials should carry out environmental and operational due diligence on the overseas recyclers before shipping. This should involve the collation and translation of the key licences and permits for operation in that country.
The report added: “Efforts should be made to ensure that the reprocessor is operating to ‘broadly equivalent’ standards by gathering copies of the Environmental Permits required by the reprocessor and gathering evidence that the company is being monitored against these.”
All licences and permits relating to the reprocessor should be up to date and reprocessors should be audited either by the exporter or by a “suitably qualified” third party.
To read the report in full visit the WRAP website here.