UK industry needs to take a close look at the revenue earned from plastic recycling as there is a high risk of being short changed.
That’s the advice from Damien van Leuven, global chief executive of Vanden Group (pictured), who has noted some serious operational issues which he says should ring alarm bells for UK organisations that are trying to maximise plastic recycling and optimise cost efficiencies.
He said: “We opened our first UK plastic processing facility in Whittlesey, near Peterborough, earlier this year and, as you would expect, we’ve since taken on a number of new clients.
“What has surprised us is that on switching their plastic recycling to us around 50 per cent have instantly experienced an uplift in revenue from this material stream.”
Further investigations by the Vanden Recycling team have pinpointed weighing and reporting inaccuracies as the main reasons for the revenue shortfall.
“Our advice to those seeking a sustainable recycling route for their scrap plastic is firstly to sort your plastics into separate grades. Stackable stillages make this a simple and compact option and doing so will instantly increase the material value over a mixed load,” he added.
“You should also receive certified weighbridge tickets and detailed packing lists for each trailer received by your recycling partner. That way you know the exact amount of waste you produce and can correlate this with the value.
“One in two Vanden customers has found that previous service providers were not accurately reporting weights resulting in lost revenue,” he said.
The under-reporting of plastic is also impacting PRN prices. Currently, with tough targets to meet and uncertainty around export markets, PRN prices are very high leading to greater costs to the producer. It is therefore essential that producers receive accurate reports of the tonnages they are sending to be recycled and maximise income from that stream to offset increasing PRN costs.