A plan by Defra to consult on guidance and further regulations on separate collection of materials has been welcomed by The Recycling Association.
Defra has published its Waste Management Plan for England 2021 and in it is a section on Measures to promote high quality recycling. Within this section is the news that Defra will consult this year on statutory guidance and further regulations to help waste collectors “meet their duties in relation to separate collection and promote high quality recycling”.
The Recycling Association chief executive Simon Ellin said: “I’m pleased to see that Defra will consult on guidance and regulation on quality this year.
“In our Quality First Roadmap published this month, we called for the separate collection of paper and cardboard as a minimum and we are grateful that we will have the opportunity to put this forward in the consultation.
“With markets closing or introducing restrictive measures around the world, it is absolutely vital that we focus on creating the highest quality commodities we can from the recyclate stream. Due to the current rules on not being able to export plastics to non-OECD countries, and tougher rules on pre-notification introduced by the updates to the Basel Convention, it is vital that we focus on quality for plastics and all materials.
“Plus, higher quality recycling is also wanted by domestic recyclers and mills that also need to remove contamination before recycling.
“By collecting paper and cardboard separately, it also creates space to introduce collection of food/beverage cartons and plastic films as core materials. This means we can recycle more items and at better quality for them all. With consistency of collection also part of the Environment Bill, it is a perfect opportunity to also introduce separate collection of paper and cardboard as a minimum.
“While it is disappointing that the Environment Bill has been delayed that will implement these measures, it is also important that we get this right. I’m therefore pleased to see that Defra will consult on tightening the rules on separate collections this year.”