Simon Ellin, chief executive of The Recycling Association, has said that he would like to see clarification on the rules for exporting material from the UK to China so that both countries can work to the same standards.
Speaking at a seminar this week in Suzhou, China, Ellin said that exporters of recyclable material needed better information from the regulatory agencies in the UK to ensure that vital trade continued.
He said: “Without clarification on what can and can’t be exported from the UK to China and elsewhere, it means that it is very difficult for the UK to meet Chinese standards. That is why The Recycling Association is calling for the adoption of the EN643 standard for recovered paper as part of its Quality First campaign. By adopting this as the regulation, the UK would be meeting the Chinese requirement for no more than 1.5% out throw.
“Talking to people here in China, it is clear they want to do business with the UK, but we have to ensure the material continues to meet their specification. The regulations should not be a barrier to doing business, but instead the regulator should concentrate on catching the hardened criminals that knowingly and wilfully export illegal waste.
“As China’s green movement grows… businesses in China wish to ensure they are environmentally responsible. The UK must position itself to be China’s number one supplier of material. Partnerships are vital for this and the responsibility for quality lies throughout the supply chain from the design of products all the way through to local authority communications.
“Our Quality First campaign will be working with everyone from retailers and local authorities to recyclers, to ensure that everyone takes responsibility for quality… I will encourage the UK enforcement agencies to take up this offer to work with their counterparts in China so that we can build partnerships and agreed approaches that will work to the benefit of everyone.”