British recycling firms too reliant on exports

Recycling companies need to stop depending on exports and start reprocessing more materials within the UK, a leading plastics recycler has claimed.

Axion Polymers is concerned over the increasing shortage of usable plastics waste in the UK and says a more sustainable approach needs to be taken whereby UK-collected raw materials are processed into high-grade recyclates and products at home.

Axion’s Salford plant manufactures 100% recycled polymers, including a carbon-labelled product from retail packaging waste, for use in injection-moulding and extrusion applications in the commercial and industrial sectors.

The company says these products are meeting the need in the UK and european marketplaces for a fully-certified route to recycle plastics from primary WEEE treatment sites.

Commenting on concerns over supply issues and output quality from MRFs, Axion’s director Keith Freegard confirmed these are shared by processors across the country.

He said: “Getting the right quality and consistent, regular volume is a real issue and many share serious concerns over valuable resources being lost to our industry through export.

“There’s also the issue of maintaining confidence with the 70% or so of households that are collecting and sorting their plastic packaging waste and those making the effort to take WEEE items to civic amenity sites for recycling.”

Maxine Perella

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