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‘Growing impatience’ among paper mills over contamination

United Kingdom – ‘The increasing use of comingled collection has contributed to confusion because it encourages the idea that ”anything goes” in the recycling bin, rather than forcing the public to
focus on the specifics of what they are doing,’ insists Simon Weston, director of raw materials at the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) which represents the UK’s paper-
based sector, including not only paper and board manufacturers but also recovered paper merchants.

His comments come in response to media articles suggesting an upturn in rejections from local authority collections. ‘Reports of higher reject rates from recycled materials partially reflects a growing impatience amongst paper mills that cannot afford to pick up the cost of contamination,’ Weston states. ‘Increasing energy, water, sorting and waste disposal costs have focused reprocessors on the impact of poor quality, which can increase the cost of raw material by up to three times by the time it has been processed.’

The UK paper industry favours ‘a clear and consistent approach to collection’ which would ‘provide clarity and simplicity for councils and the public’, he adds. Meanwhile, Andrew Large takes over from David Workman as CPI’s director general with effect from September 1. His experience includes working in the European Commission in Brussels and running two trade associations.

CPI president Patrick Willink comments: ‘The immediate future presents us with a whole new set of issues as we try to unravel the real impact of Brexit. Andrew Large’s previous experiences and areas of expertise will allow him to influence policy-makers in both the UK and Europe to secure the best he can for our businesses.’

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