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Businesses approve of the plans to boost quality of recycled materials.


A recent article published on Business Green discussed why businesses are welcoming the government’s plans to boost the quality of recycled materials and in addition the government’s predictions that this new rule could boost the economy by £31m annually.

A consultation was announced today by, Resources Management Minister Lord de Mauley, the consultation outlined that the plans would require larger Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) to measure the quality of materials processed, these materials include paper, metals and glass, as well as what they can produce.

The results of these measurements will be made available from the Environment Agency to businesses buying recycling materials, it will as be made available to councils which supply the materials.

MRFs voluntarily measure the quality of their materials however; if this proposed code is applied it would ensure that all facilities processing more than 1,000 tonnes of dry recyclate per year have tests carried out routinely.

Lord de Mauley said:

“The recycling industry contributes around £3bn to our economy, having sufficient quantity of recyclable material is of course important for the markets.”

He went onto say:

“The quality of that material is equally important but often overlooked. I want that to change. While some MRFs already provide quality material I want to see this happening more consistently across the industry.”

An impact assessment of the plan suggests the move could result in a net benefit of £30.9m to society, with scenarios ranging from £13.1m to £51.5m.

Initial costs for businesses have been estimated around £0.8m, with £12.1m being the annual cost, however, benefits to business from higher material revenue and lower landfill costs was estimated around £34.6m, whilst £9m of benefits could be delivered through reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Matthew Farrow, Director of policy at the Environmental Services Association (ESA) trade body welcomed the plans. He said that the proposed code of practice was based on a blueprint originally produced by the ESA.

“MRFs are a vital part of the recycling supply chain and there are many excellent ones which consistently produce high quality material which meets their customers’ needs,” he said.

“However, not all MRFs are up to scratch and that is why we have consistently lobbied Defra to make the code a compulsory, rather than a voluntary, scheme for all MRFs.

“In proposing just such an approach, Ministers have wisely shown that the deregulatory priorities of the government are not appropriate in every situation and that this is a sector where proportionate regulation can boost investment and green growth.”


Business Green

Environmental Services Association


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