New trade association aims to unite interests of recycling sector

A new trade body, The Resource Association, was launched today (November 8) to champion the reprocessing and recycling industries and present a unified voice for the sector.

The launch took place at a formal reception at the Houses of Parliament, hosted by Greg Mulholland MP. The association has been formed by a group of leading companies and organisations including Smurfit Kappa, Bryson Recycling, Aylesford Newsprint and BiogenGreenfinch.

Independent consultant Ray Georgeson will head up the body as chief executive. Speaking exclusively to edieWaste, he said the idea for the new association had “been bubbling” for a long time.

“It’s a diverse recycling sector and there’s been a lack of a unified voice. This is a genuine attempt to tackle this. There is a space for a trade body like this, but rather than work in isolation, the idea is to work with others where they have shared objectives.”

He added: “It’s almost mainstream, the view that we are moving from waste management to resource management. The concept has been kicking around for a long time and it’s started to really come to life. We are producing an organisation which I think will chime with the times in terms of resource efficiency, issues around resource scarcity and the carbon agenda.”

According to Georgeson, the association’s founder members are a good mix of local government interest, collection and supply chain interest – and at the heart of it, reprocessing interest.

“We feel this is an industry that hasn’t had its day in the sun quite as much as it should have done,” he said. “There is a role for us in speaking up for the value of the industry and doing that bit more to explain to people what recycling and reprocessing really means. Those key objectives will characterise everything that we do.”

The trade body will be seeking to undertake constructive dialogue with governments across the UK, the European Commission, other trade associations and stakeholders with shared interests.

It has already produced an initial policy statement Advancing the agenda for a resource-efficient economy in which it calls for the quality and usability of secondary resources to be prioritised over the merits of different waste collection methods, and for the Government to promote quality as well as quantity of recyclates.

Maxine Perella with additional reporting by Nick Warburton

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