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UK government puts accent on quality

United Kingdom – Plans designed to improve the quality of paper, cardboard, metals, plastics and glass recycling have been announced by the UK’€™s Resources Management Minister Lord de Mauley. The proposals are set out in a code of practice for recycling facilities.

The minister has also launched a consultation process asking for the views of local authorities and industry on government proposals to measure the quality of recycled materials being processed at material recovery facilities (MRFs). These proposals will require all MRFs over a certain size to measure the quality of their input and outputs; the results from these tests would then be made available to businesses buying the recycling material as well as to local councils and others who supply the material to the MRFs.

Lord de Mauley says the importance of recyclable material quality is ‘often overlooked’, adding ‘I want that to change’. While some MRFs ‘already provide quality material’, he continues, ‘I want to see this happening more consistently across the industry’.

Estelle Brachlianoff, Chief Executive Officer of Veolia Environmental Services (UK) Plc, welcomes an announcement ‘which heralds industry consistency for all operators and will standardise material testing regimes, methodology and scheme compliance’. The consultation ‘should lead to a new regime which will drive quality up across the entire supply chain’, she contends.

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