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UK plastics sector: inaccurate reporting of weights

United Kingdom – UK industry needs to take a close look at the revenues earned from plastics recycling as there is a high risk of being short-changed, according Damien van Leuven, global ceo of Vanden Group. Van Leuven has noted ‘some serious operational issues’ which, he says, should start ringing alarm bells for UK organisations that are trying to maximise plastics recycling and optimise cost efficiencies.

Earlier this year, group subsidiary Vanden Recycling opened its first UK plastics processing facility at Peterborough and has since taken on a number of new clients.

‘What has surprised us is that on switching their plastic recycling to us, around 50% have instantly experienced an uplift in revenue from this material stream,’ says Van Leuven.

Further investigations by Vanden have pinpointed weighing and reporting inaccuracies as the main reasons for the revenue shortfall, it says.

‘Our advice to those seeking a sustainable recycling route for their scrap plastic is firstly to sort your plastics into separate grades,’ Van Leuven states. ‘Stackable stillages make this a simple and compact option and doing so will instantly increase the material value over a mixed load,’ he adds.

‘You should also receive certified weighbridge tickets and detailed packing lists for each trailer received by your recycling partner. That way you know the exact amount of waste you produce and can correlate this with the value.’

According to Van Leuven, one in two Vanden customers has found that previous service providers were ‘not accurately’ reporting weights, resulting in lost revenue. The under-reporting of plastic is also impacting packaging recovery note (PRN) prices, claims Vanden.

With tough targets to be met and with uncertainty around export markets, very high PRN prices are leading to greater costs for the producer.

According to the company, it is therefore ‘essential that producers receive accurate reports of the tonnages they are sending to be recycled and maximise income from that stream to offset increasing PRN costs’.

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