22 march 2018

How you can help the UK meet recycling target of 50% by 2020

We are asking our customers to do their bit by reducing the amount of contamination that may exist in their recycling.

Veolia UK | How you can help the UK meet recycling target of 50% by 2020

To help the UK meet recycling target of 50% by 2020, we are asking our customers to do their bit by reducing the amount of contamination that may exist in their recycling.  

Currently UK recycling rates have stalled at 44% and with a potential target of 65% by 2035 in the proposed 25 year plan, we currently have a long way to go. The situation in the UK is compounded by the fact that China has launched a new Environmental Improvement Programme designed to increase the quality its materials imports.

On 5 March 2018, new regulations reducing China’s tolerance level for contamination from 1.5% to 0.5% were introduced and 24 categories of solid waste including unsorted waste paper will be banned. The measures will be rigorously enforced with port-based quality inspections (Project Blue Sky).

What this means is now more than ever before quality is the determining factor affecting both access to global recycling markets and price. This is exemplified by segregated cardboard collections where quality remains consistently high and there is strong market demand.

To increase the quality of our Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR) going forward we will be changing our specification to include cardboard, clean paper, clean plastic bottles and tin cans. Food packaging/sandwich wrappers are not acceptable as DMR.  The main reason for these changes is to stop contamination, improve the quality of the materials and to help the UK achieve its recycling targets.

 


 

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