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Valpak makes red tape calls as consultation closes

Producer compliance scheme operator Valpak has called for fixed contamination limits for green list waste shipments in its contribution to the Government’s Cutting Red Tape consultation, which closes today.

The company also offered suggestions for hazardous waste regulation in WEEE movements, including a simplified notification process and clearer definitions.

More than 50 respondents have contributed to the waste industry section of the consultation, which was introduced by the Government in a bid to reduce business costs across the economy by £10bn through removing unnecessary regulation.

Valpak policy adviser Lucy Singleton said in her response that “waste management companies and exporters are subject to uncertainty and sometimes inconsistent enforcement” with regards to green list waste shipments.

She suggested fixed contamination limits “would preferably be in line with internationally agreed standards”.

“Destination country requirements would still apply, and so shipments here would be illegal if these requirements were not adhered to.”

The firm described notification and administrative processes required for movements of WEEE as “onerous”, acting as a disincentive to recycling.

It recommended allowing shipments from numerous export points to multiple recovery facilities within the European Economic Area on the same notification.

Singleton said: “If the notification has been approved, it would also be helpful if there is no further requirement to inform the competent authority prior to each shipment.”

Valpak’s calls for clearer hazardous waste definitions relate to strict EU policies that, it believes, offer little “scope or margin for interpretation”.

It said enforcement officers currently classify mixed WEEE loads containing only a small amount of material posing any environmental risk, such as few batteries or a smoke detector, as hazardous waste.

Singleton added: “This seems an unnecessary administrative and cost burden compared with the minimal environmental risk involved.”

The waste sector is one of five industry areas subject to the review of “unnecessary regulation and its poor implementation” and to “identify unnecessary barriers to growth and productivity”.

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