CPI says UK paper mills are getting “impatient” over quality from commingled collections

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The waste industry and local authorities are being urged by the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) to do more to achieve greater consistency and prevent rejection of more material.

Its Corrugated Sector believes that the increasing use of commingled collections has contributed to the increase in household waste in England that has been rejected from materials recycling facilities (MRFs).

While it would prefer source separated collection, it recognises that the consistency in collection work led by WRAP will contribute to improving quality.

CPI director of packaging affairs Andy Barnetson said there is “growing impatience” in paper mills at the amount of contamination they are receiving.

He added: “The vast majority of the material recovered from the back of retailers’ stores is corrugated, and that’s pretty clean. The core area of concern for us is post domestic where there’s been a lack of clarity and consistency over methodology for household collection which has led to a decline in quality.

“Increasing energy, water, sorting and waste disposal costs have focused reprocessors on the impact of poor quality recycled corrugated. The corrugated industry favours separation at source but a clear and consistent approach to collection, such as that being advocated by WRAP, would provide clarity and simplicity for councils and the public.

“While the declining quality of secondary fibre for recycling post domestic is impacting on the corrugated industry there are encouraging signs of initiatives to rationalise collection systems technologies throughout the country, such as the WRAP Consistency Programme, which suggests that the direction of travel may be changing.”