China is implementing higher standards on imports of recycled material via its ‘Operation Green Fence’ policy, which is forcing western countries to have higher standards in what materials they export.

Speaking to edie, DS Smith national commercial manager Tim Price said the industry has to be forward thinking in developing new markets and quality is a key part of that.

He added: “We welcome the developments in China with their green fence policy. It comes back to what is important to us, not just as collectors of the material but reprocessors of the material. We have a vested interest in the quality of the material that we process because it finds its way back into our own production processes. We apply that quality for the export market as well.

“It is not just about the green fence in China, it is also about their commitment to increase their domestic recycling rates. This is going to have a big impact on end markets because if it is successful it is going to placate their appetite for material processed in Europe.”

The news comes as the packaging and recycling specialist recently announced that it will be bringing its packaging, paper, plastics and recycling businesses together under one brand.

The company said that the move will create a “unified corporate identity2, with its focus set to shift to the “supply cycle” with an emphasis on sending zero waste to landfill. It has also pledged to ensure that materials are used as efficiently as possible across all of its operations.

All DS Smith operations, including DS Smith Packaging, DS Smith Paper and DS Smith Recycling will be known as DS Smith in future.

The move comes 18 months after DS Smith acquired Swedish firm SCA Packaging, making it one of the largest integrated paper and packaging firms in the UK and Europe.

DS Smith European commercial director Mathew Prosser said the SCA integration was “going well” and also said that the firm was now a pan-European business.

He explained that DS Smith had branched out to the Czech Republic, which complemented its operations in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy, France, Germany and Austria.

Speaking about waste trends and the waste industry working more closely together in the future, Prosser told edie: “As waste arisings drop in the municipal sector, I think there is going to be more of a collaborative approach to merging tonnage. This will be done to satisfy the financial requirements that financial institutions are looking at for continuity of supply, in order to invest in infrastructure. I think that it is important that industry plays its part in this. We will also play our part as responsible members of the sector.”

Liz Gyekye


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