Leading plastics recycling Eco Plastics has said that the MRF Code of Practice should be made mandatory.
In its submission to the Defra consultation on the MRF Code of Practice and Quality Action Plan, Eco Plastics has warned that allowing these to be voluntary would lead to the scheme being strangled at birth.
Eco Plastics managing director Jonathan Short said: “We have submitted our response to the Government’s consultation and in that we have made clear in no uncertain terms our view that the Code of Practice is doomed to failure if firms can simply opt out.
“The fact that some reprocessing markets can still accept a high degree of contamination means that those companies which choose to comply with voluntary standards will be undercut by their competitors. If they are forced to decide between maintaining quality and going out of business, you can predict which option they will choose. The scheme will collapse unless all MRFs have to meet minimum standards.”
He also said that a comprehensive testing regime needs to be implemented in parallel with compulsory targets on quality. He added: “Of course, introducing standards on their own is highly unlikely to have the desired result, we also need to ensure that those standards are being met.
“The best way to do that is through the implementation of a robust testing regime. MRFs must be required to carry out frequent analysis of their materials and they must be subject to regular, unscheduled tests of their facilities by the Environment Agency.
“Full transparency is essential, with the information summarised and made publically available. The industry has nothing to hide and everything to gain by working to best practice – we will produce material which is attractive to any market in the world, at premium value.”
He also called for the Government to act quickly to implement a compulsory code in order to safeguard the UK industry.