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Warning over plastic recycling cash waste

2000 vanden whittlesey aerial

Manufacturers have been warned to check whether they are being short-changed for waste plastics sent for recycling because they may be victims of reporting inaccuracies or even fraud.

Damien van Leuven, chief executive of Vanden Group, which has recently expanded its operation into the UK, said he had noted “serious operational issues” which should concern businesses trying to maximise plastic recycling and profits.

But MRW understands from other sources in the industry that unwary manufacturers can also be paid less than they are entitled because, through dubious practices, they are not properly credited for their materials.

Van Leuven has pinpointed weighing and reporting inaccuracies as the main reasons for the revenue shortfall.

“We opened our first UK plastic processing facility in Whittlesey, near Peterborough, earlier this year (pictured) and, as you would expect, we’ve since taken on a number of new clients.

“What has surprised us is that on switching their plastic recycling to us, around 50% have instantly experienced an uplift in revenue from this material stream,” he said.

Van Leuven said that an important change some owners of waste polymers can make is to put more effort into sorting their plastics into separate grades.

“Stackable stillages make this a simple and compact option, and doing so will instantly increase the material value over a mixed load,” he said.

“You should also receive certified weighbridge tickets and detailed packing lists for each trailer received by your recycling partner. That way you know the exact amount of waste you produce and can correlate this with the value.”

Vanden offers a degree of transparency to reassure customers. Webcams on the grinding equipment allows them to see their own material being processed. It is also considering cameras on its weighbridge so customers can be alerted by email when the lorry is being checked in.

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