Standards for waste-derived fuel exports have “never been higher” – RDF IG

waste exports

According to the RDF (refuse-derived fuel) Industry Group’s Code of Practice (CoP) report for 2022, environmental standards for waste-derived fuel (WDF) exports have “never been higher”.

The report shows that no regulatory breaches were reported concerning export from the UK. The Group says it has demonstrated stronger compliance with each year of reporting.

The report is published following increased calls for a complete ban on plastic waste exports from the UK. Last week (15 May), 81 NGOs (non-governmental organisations) signed an open letter calling on the UK government to extend its upcoming consultation on banning UK plastic waste exports to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

In the last year, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee and the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency Sir James Bevan have also all called for a full ban. However, the Recycling Association criticised Bevan for his comments.

Recycling Association chief executive Simon Ellin said Bevan had “overstepped the mark as a civil servant by giving his inaccurate personal opinion”. RDF Industry Group have also criticised Bevan and described his call for a ban as a “kneejerk” reaction to waste crime.

The Code of Practice by which all our members abide, sets the standard for the rest of the industry.

The group says its report shows that government policy should focus on determining the underlying cause of waste crime and waste export abuse, rather than targeting compliant export routes.

RDF Industry Group reports annually on the compliance of its members against their CoP Report for WDF exports from the UK. The report aims to monitor the adherence of the industry to relevant environmental regulations and share “good practices” amongst members.

Andy Jones, Chair of the RDF Industry Group, commented: “The Code of Practice by which all our members abide, sets the standard for the rest of the industry.

“Not only does it help to clarify the rules around WDF in each UK nation, but it also outlines good practice recommendations which aim to combat risks such as waste crime and mismanagement of waste in an economically and environmentally unsound manner.

“I am very proud of the confidence that compliance brings to our customers and regulators, particularly given members have been highly compliant with the CoP since its introduction.”

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