New Contamination Value Chart For Recycling Collectors

The Resource Association has published the second stage of ReQIP, its information project designed to provide a convenient reference point for understanding reprocessors’ recyclate quality requirements.

ReQIP (the Recycling Quality Information Point) is a web-based information hub for recycling collectors, which was launched in June 2014 (

The first stage of the project set out the maximum overall level of contamination that can be handled by reprocessors of each major recycling stream. Alongside with this, the Resource Association published sample specifications information from many individual reprocessors, including all of its reprocessor members.

The second stage of this project provides information about the impact specific contaminants have on the quality of recyclate, and subsequently how each contaminant affects the market value of the recyclate. The reference chart sets out the maximum level of cross contamination that reprocessors can accept if the material is to be considered suitable for high-quality recycling.

Ray Georgeson – “Local authorities and companies responsible for the collection and sale of recyclate want to know the impact that specific contaminants have on value”

To help local authorities and companies collecting recyclables gauge the affect individual cross contaminants have on the market value of each type of recyclate, a grading system has been provided that distinguishes between six levels.

This ranges from recyclates that can be reasonably mixed together without impacting on price, to those recyclates that when mixed together in any notable proportions, will lead to rejection by reprocessors.

In addition, the chart also provides advice for collectors about considerations that should be taken on board when rolling out a collection scheme for specific recyclables.

The framework follows Defra’s decision not to publish specific guidance for implementing the Waste Regulations. As a result the industry has been encouraged to lead and provide a specification of “high-quality recycling”.


ReQIP is a detailed framework of the feedstock requirements for UK reprocessors, setting out their requirements for high-quality recycling.

Chief Executive Ray Georgeson said: “Local authorities and companies responsible for the collection and sale of recyclate want to know the impact that specific contaminants have on value. Furthermore, with the introduction of the Waste Regulations, there are requirements on collectors to ensure that material is suitable for high-quality recycling.

This development of the ReQIP project provides a comprehensive account of UK reprocessor requirements, which we hope will inform decisions at a crucial stage of the secondary materials supply chain.”

Chris Dow, CEO of plastic reprocessor Closed Loop Recycling commented on the news, saying: “This is an important development for local authorities who will now understand the impact that different collection systems can have on the recycling stream and how they can achieve maximum value from the materials they collect.

“We believe this new system sets a benchmark for high quality recycling here in the UK, which will not only benefit the environment but will create economic benefits too at a time when local authorities are looking to make efficiencies. It’s yet another small step towards a circular economy.”

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