There is no other place for me to start than on 1 July in London, and the Hilton on Park Lane to be precise, where we celebrated the National Recycling Awards 2015.
On the night, I asked for feedback and I’m pleased – and proud – to report that those who have been in touch have almost wholly been very positive. In my speech, I said we would be doing more this year to reflect the best practice that the NRAs highlights.
That is why we have expanded our coverage of the winners to include more information about those on the shortlists. We have also been very pleased with the response to the introduction of face-to-face judging, including the participation of the previous year’s winners in that process.
In the coming weeks, we will be reviewing the previous 12 months and seeing what more can be done to make it an even better key event in the industry calendar. If you were involved in the NRAs in any capacity, it’s not too late to feed back what you thought by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
My speech also referred to the difficulties of the previous year, specifically those faced by Eco-Plastics and Closed Loop Recycling and the closure of the Aylesford paper plant. I omitted to mention Tullis Russell, the Fife paper company which went under in April with the loss of more than 400 jobs. A special taskforce helping the community recover reported this week that around one-third of ex-employees had found work to date. It’s a reminder of the longer-term impact of business failure.
Which is one of the reasons we hope the new owners of the re-branded Euro Closed Loop Recycling won’t carry out their threat to close the Dagenham factory. Less sympathetic voices in our sector talk of the market being the final arbiter but momentum towards greater resource efficiency is important and that is seriously set back by the failure of key reprocessors.
For Closed Loop to survive, all parts of the supply chain will have to make binding commitments – something that’s been lacking since the company’s difficulties were made public in the spring.