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Shredder ban threat:BMRA to lobby Europe

By Greg Pitcher

Key politicians across Europe are to be targeted by the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) as it steps up its fight against a global ban on shredders.

The trade body this week revealed its concern that action against vehicle-shredding machines would be formalised when representatives of the United Nations meet in Uruguay next May.

The BMRA expects shredders to be on that agenda after the Stockholm Convention convened earlier this month to consider classifying them a major source of persistent organic pollutants.

BMRA director general Neil Marshall said it was likely that the issue would be taken to environment ministers at the first Conference of the Parties in May.

Marshall said: If it is on the agenda for the formal session, it is very worrisome. This proposition is nonsense.

It is based on dubious assessments and in many parts is simply wrong. But what is extremely worrying is that often experts accept what is presented to them and take it forward.

It looks as though it will carry forward to the Uruguay round in the spring, which will involve environment ministers who have very little technical knowledge.

We will have to mount a campaign of extended and detailed briefings. We need to get a significant number of large countries on side. We will kick off by briefing our colleagues in Europe.

A formal classification of shredders as a major source of persistent organic pollutants would give the UK just two years to produce a plan to phase out their use.

Marshall said previously of the issue: It directly threatens the business of shredders. It could impact within two years.

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