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Warning over Wales and Scotland PRN plans

Scottish and Welsh plans to retain more resources within their borders conflict with the PRN system because it encourages exports, according to a leading industry figure.

Speaking at an All Party Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group (APSRG) event in Westminster, Andy Rees, waste and resource efficiency division for the Welsh Government, outlined plans for closed loop recycling in the country.

Charlie Devine, head of resource management, Zero Waste Scotland, also called for Scotland to harness the value of recycling and retain its resources.

Paul Levett

But Paul Levett (left), industry non-executive director, told MRW that these plans went against their policies to keep the same PRN system as England, “which encourages exports”.

Levett also asked Rees and Devine whether their focus on separate collections and higher quality of recyclates had resulted in higher prices for materials.

Rees said: “There are some issues with reprocessors who don’t necessarily charge the correct differential in price. The reason is they are desperate for the material and they have to take what they can get, but in general higher quality material has a better price.”

Levett told MRW there is a focus across the UK on separate collections and material quality, but not enough benchmarking of prices.

“If it was a business this would be the first thing they measure.”

Separate collections guidance

At the event, Andy Rees also announced that the Welsh assembly Government will soon release guidance on separate collections.

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