Chaired by Caroline Spelman MP, APSRG’s 2013 research inquiry has examined the current policy landscape in the UK in relation to waste exports, and has identified key drivers and highlighted areas of risk and opportunity for the waste industry.
Spelman said: “The topic of waste exports is incredibly diverse, and one which merits detailed, cross-departmental consideration from Government, and united, forward- thinking drive from the industry itself.
“This report makes recommendations to central government and industry on how
to build the most economically and environmentally robust system for waste and materials treatment, whether it be in the UK or abroad. We hope that adoption of these recommendations will result in a more streamlined and robust management of our resources, and provide further steps towards the development of a truly resource efficient economy.”
Caroline Spelman – “The topic of waste exports is incredibly diverse, and one which merits detailed, cross-departmental consideration from Government, and united, forward- thinking drive from the industry itself”
With a variety of different factors, regulatory and economic, affecting how and why different waste materials streams are exported, this research has sought to see where exports are boosting the economy and where keeping materials within the domestic market would be of greater benefit to UK Plc.
Supported by the British Metals Recycling Association, Closed Loop Recycling, DS Smith Recycling and SITA UK, the research explores a number of potential future scenarios, the final report makes recommendations to Government designed to help build the most economically and environmentally robust system for waste and materials treatment, whether it be in the UK or abroad.
The PRN/PERN system has significantly impacted the recovery of waste packaging in the UK and for export. However, the report suggests the methodology applied to the issuing of Notes needs to be reviewed to address concerns linked to inconsistencies between the costliness of recycling in the UK vs. export for recycling.
The recycling industry offers the potential for growth in employment opportunities. APSRG says that economic research is required to identify which parts of the supply chain can be re-shored or developed to maximise this opportunity for the UK.
The UK is increasingly collecting more recyclable material than can be processed domestically, with the gap predominantly being filled by exports. Alongside this, the production of increasing volumes of RDF is taking place, the majority of which is also being exported. Given the increasing levels of RDF/SRF being exported, the current absence of sufficient treatment capacity in the UK, and the inherent energy value in the waste stream, there is a need for greater clarity on the UK policy for how such material can best serve national needs, the report finds.
The ability of the UK to address the gap in reprocessing and thermal treatment capacity is being constrained by a lack of investment, according to APSRG, which says greater confidence should be given to the investment community through a range of fiscal measures to mitigate risk and manage growth, alongside increased and improved data capture.
The report will be launched formally in Parliament on Wednesday 4 December at a reception in the House of Commons. Resource Minister Dan Rogerson MP, Shadow Minister Barry Gardiner MP and inquiry chair Caroline Spelman MP will address the event.
For the full report and full recommendations CLICK HERE