UK recycling sector emphasise commitment for responsible processing of waste

Bales of plastic ready for recycling

Following the airing of the first episode of “War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita”, the UK’s recycling industry has emphasised its commitment to ensuring the responsible processing of waste and maximising recycling opportunities.   

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has called for greater regulation to stop criminals undermining the efforts of responsible waste management firms. 


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Annually, the UK collects over 12m tonnes of materials for recycling from households and employs more than 95,000 people.   

ESA executive director Jacob Hayler said: “The waste and resource sector goes to great lengths to ensure the material it handles is only passed on to legitimate companies. The illegal export and disposal of waste is unacceptable, and criminal behaviour, whether in the UK or abroad needs to be stamped out. The cost of waste crime is more than £600m per year in England alone. As an industry we have been crying out for greater regulation to stop criminals entering the waste and resources sector. They damage the environment, make people’s lives miserable and undercut legitimate business.” 

He added that a way to prevent waste crime is to build up domestic reprocessing so that more materials can be recycled in the UK.  

“The Government’s recently published Resources and Waste Strategy supports the growth of new domestic infrastructure and ESA’s members are already backing this up with investment in new reprocessing facilities. However, industry investment must be accompanied by increased regulation to prevent criminals undermining these efforts.” 

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