Inadequate recyclate quality control hurting UK economy

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According to the Resource Association poor quality recyclate is damaging the UK’s green economy.

The findings of the ‘Costs of Contamination Report 2012’ reportedly show that poor and inconsistent recyclate quality is a significant financial burden on British industry. The association identified more than £51m of avoidable costs – an average of £15.67 per tonne.

Chairman of the Resource Association, Andy Doran, said: “This report clearly shows the extent to which poor and inconsistent quality of recyclate adds real cost for the UK manufacturing base. This represents a missed opportunity for the UK – it is a cost burden that hampers investment and costs jobs, all to the detriment of the UK green economy.”

In the report, the association restated its calls for:

  • a fresh look at the whole municipal recycling supply chain, including action to better regulate the output of MRFs

  • this must include a mandatory MRF Code of Practice that demonstrably improves the quality of UK MRF output through a robust system of monitoring, material sampling and unannounced inspections

  • further robust action by regulators to enforce TFS Regulations and ensure that all recyclate exported meets legal quality requirements – doing this would undoubtedly lead to quality improvements in the recyclate also destined for UK reprocessors

  • more research by Government and its agencies to understand better the relationship between collection systems, public behaviour and contamination of recyclate - with the purpose of improving communications and operational practice to deliver better quality.