Quality matters for recovered materials – WRAP

Material collected for recycling is not all the same, and there's money to be made from ensuring we're recovering the best quality waste.

This week the government-funded Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) hosted a conference on international markets which flagged up the importance of quality materials throughout the supply chain of the recycling industry.

This knowledge could help the UK secure a competitive advantage if acted upon.

Previous research conducted by WRAP suggests that reprocessors operating in China believe that currently the material quality of waste shipments from the UK is good, but far from being the best.

With WRAP developing domestic markets for recovered materials and clear demand for quality products abroad, UK businesses could seize the imperative to extract greater value, differentiate themselves from the competition and gain greater business security in the longer term.

Straw polls carried out by WRAP at its conference showed that three-quarters of delegates thought that there was a case for improving beyond current quality levels.

Marcus Gover, director of market development at WRAP said: “We were delighted by the strength of the support shown by the whole industry for quality. It reinforced the message that the importance of quality for domestic and export recycling cannot be underestimated.”

Speakers throughout the day went on to reinforce the importance of quality further.

Keith Freegard, director at Axion said: “Axion produces an innovative, high-quality plastic product in a responsible, traceable manner. We stretch closed loop recycling all the way to China, where demand for quality products is huge.

“When markets turn down, quality wins, particularly when produced close to the end-use customer”.

Sam Bond

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