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Industry boss urges increase in commingled collections

More commingled collections are needed to increase recycling rates, according to one of the UK’s leading reprocessors.

Chris Dow

Speaking at the launch of a new Parliamentary research document on recycling at a Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resources Group (APSRG) meeting, CEO of Closed Loop Recycling Chris Dow said evidence that commingled collections brought in three times the amount of material was the “killer blow for kerbside sort”.

Dow, whose Dagenham plant recycles up to 35,000 tonnes of plastic bottles a year, said there was “no doubt” more commingled collections were necessary.

“We need the material; we need to make it easy for the consumer; we know that now, and we’ve put aside in the past that it was taboo to commingle. Now, let’s just get the MRFs right.”

The comments to MPs and industry leaders came as the judge in the long-delayed judicial review into commingled collections prepares to rule on an application to send the case to the Europe Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Dow emphasised that what was important to reprocessors as well as quantity and quality of material was consistency: “We need more uniformity. Uniformity of collection makes it easier for a MRF to understand what I’m getting. Then you can design your MRF around knowing what you’re going to get every day.”

On the proposed EU end of waste criteria for plastics, Dow said despite his firm set to benefit from higher quality material, he had doubts about whether was either practical, economically viable or in the “best interests of recycling in the long term”.

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