MRF code of practice must be far-reaching – WRAP

There is growing expectation that the Government's forthcoming code of practice for materials recovery facilities (MRFs) will address poor quality levels - but it must be embraced by the whole supply chain, WRAP has warned.

Speaking earlier at CIWM’s annual conference in London today (June 12), WRAP’s director of market development Marcus Gover said that there were still too many MRFs producing sub-standard outputs, hampering reprocessor efforts to extract value from them.

“Quite a few MRFs in the UK do not produce high quality materials and this is something that needs to be addressed. What you put into a MRF does affect what comes out,” he told delegates.

Gover said that that a common testing procedure was required to measure both MRF input and output levels, and that the code of practice – if made mandatory – could address this, but it needed buy-in from key stakeholders including local authorities, waste contractors and manufacturers.

“Closed loop recycling needs to be linked to collections, infrastructure and markets – and quality joins it all together. There is a need to reduce levels of non-target materials in co-mingled collections – for example, local authorities should not collect mixed plastics unless the infrastructure is in place to process them,” he explained.

Ray Georgeson, chief executive of the Resource Association agreed with this and said that that reliance on the current recycling market was resulting in “a degree of resource insecurity”.

He added: “There is a need for quality standards. Reprocessors need this in order to help maintain a solid and healthy manufacturing base. We do need a fresh strategy for UK manufacturing.”

Maxine Perella

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