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Recyclers launch quality drive

The Recycling Association (RA) has developed a campaign to improve the quality of secondary materials being sent for processing, saying the UK risks declining markets for its materials.

Quality First is backed by the RA’s board along with exporters of recyclable material, including ACN Europe, Cyclelink and Mark Lyndon Paper Enterprises, and the Chinese inspection agency CCIC London.

The campaign will:

  • Campaign to eliminate the deliberate trade of substandard and illegal-quality materials for reprocessing
  • Highlight the positive work of members to improve quality
  • Raise awareness of the importance of material quality
  • Educate the supply chain on its part in improving material quality
  • Act as a hub and facilitator, working with regulators worldwide to improve quality
  • Promote understanding of and lobby for acceptance of 1.5% maximum out-throw for paper

quality mark

Recycling Association quality mark

RA chief executive Simon Ellin (pictured) emphasised the risk to the UK recycling industry if the quality of materials collected for recycling do not improve.

“We are increasingly seeing that Chinese buyers, other export destinations and even UK mills are choosy about where they buy material. They have choices that they did not have before, and for the Chinese this includes their increasingly developing domestic market.

“In the UK, it is essential that we improve the quality of materials we collect for recycling, and everyone in the supply chain must take responsibility for that,” said Ellin.

The supply chain includes local authorities, retailers, recycling companies, waste management companies, exporters and shipping lines.

RA president Adrian Jackson said: “From a paper recycling perspective, we want to promote understanding of and lobby for acceptance of a 1.5% maximum out-throw for paper, and then seek to develop other material standards.”

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