Four trade bodies write to minister requesting urgent action on China situation and calling on WRAP to return to recycling market development 

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A letter has been sent to Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey MP calling on Defra to “take urgent action” to support the recycling industry. 

The letter from Confederation of Paper Industries, Resource Association, the Recycling Association and Environmental Services Association also requests that WRAP returns to its focus on market development. 


In it, the four trade associations asks that the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Opportunities sends a UK delegation to China to “negotiate at a high level in support of our desire to continue to provide the Chinese economy with secondary materials that they need, on terms that are reasonable and continue to protect the environment as well as being practicable in a UK context”. 

This is in response to Chinese Government plans to “restrict imports of recovered materials unless they reach a contamination level of just 0.3%, as well as a complete ban on the import of post-consumer plastics and mixed papers”. 

The letter adds that this has “the potential to be very damaging for UK recycling performance”. 

With Defra reviewing the future funding and programmes of WRAP, the four trade associations have asked the Minister and WRAP to return to the “pressing matter of ‘recycling market development’ and ‘demand-pull measures’ to encourage the use of secondary materials in UK manufactured products and open up new market opportunities” and link this to the developing Industrial Strategy. 

The letter has been signed by Simon Weston, Director of Raw Materials, Confederation of Paper Industries; Ray Georgeson MBE, Chief Executive, Resource Association; Simon Ellin, Chief Executive, the Recycling Association; and Jacob Hayler, Executive Director, Environmental Services Association.