The recycling and reprocessing sector has a new trade body.
The Resource Association (RA), launched at a reception at the Houses of Parliament, has been formed by some of the leading organisations in the recycling and reprocessing supply chain.
The association said it would be a “unifying voice” for the sector “championing the value of UK reprocessing and recycling in terms of employment, resource efficiency and integrity, carbon reduction and our role in the low-carbon, green economy.”
The new organisation is headed by chief executive Ray Georgeson, director of the RGR consultancy and former chief executive of Waste Watch, and chaired by Andy Doran, national manager of Novelis Recycling.
Doran, left, said the issue of needing to represent the reprocessing sector had been around for a “good few years”. He said the association hoped to be a “unifying and leadership voice” for a “strong viable resource-based economy” that values resources for both economic and environmental reasons.
Georgeson, below right, added that he was “genuinely excited” by the launch and that the association had already been talking to government and existing trade associations about working together.
He said: “Our desire is to collaborate, and to work together wherever possible, and to be a strong and positive voice for the industries, and not to step into the roles of existing material trade bodies.”
Greg Mulholland, Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West where the Resource Association is based, told an audience of leading industry figures that it was important for them to speak to government with one voice.
He said “government ministers and local authorities haven’t always understood all of the exciting things going on” in the industry and that government wanted to hear more from industry lobbies.
Eleven organisations have signed up as founding members, including May Gurney, Novelis, Somerset Waste Partnership, Coca-Cola, Alloa Community Enterprises and Kent Waste Partnership.
Georgeson said he believed the members and the range of organisations involved from across the reprocessing sector and its supply chain, set the tone for what the RA wants to be.
He said the association would be different from existing trade bodies, with agenda-setting, advocacy and think-tank qualities.
Its initial policy proposals include support for local authorities to publish public end-use destination registers, transition to carbon-based measurement systems, the promotion of closed material loop systems, and the support of green economy growth through the development of low-carbon supply chains.
Nick Brown, commercial recycling manager for Coca-Cola Enterprises, said: “We are delighted to be founder members of The Resource Association as we believe it is a group of the most progressive organisations working in recycling in GB today.
“The group will provide the forum for these organisations to further collaborate, and speak with a unified voice, on the issues within the industry and to fully grasp the opportunities from more effective recycling and resource management.”