The CK Group has announced that it is to become a founder member of a new focus group within The Recycling Association (TRA), dedicated entirely to the plastic recycling sector.
The decision to form a new group culminated in talks between CK Group and TRA over the last year as both have long campaigned that the plastics recycling industry needs a separate, but impartial and authoritive voice in order to ensure that sector specific issues were fully understood and supported at policy maker level.
All founder members share a common goal of ensuring that everyone involved in the supply chain, at each stage of the plastics recycling process, from packaging producers to processors and recycled plastic product manufacturers, are aligned in their recycling obligations and working practices.
TRA says issues affecting the industry will be highlighted, discussed and policy makers lobbied in order that regulation delivers positive outcomes for an industry, which is highly cyclical and dependent on being able to operate on a global basis.
Following the demise of a number of plastic recycling companies, many in the industry have been at loggerheads debating the root cause and the best resolution to issues that have contributed to these business failures or difficulties. Some are fingering the blame at the way PRN and PERNS are issued and export markets.
Commenting, Chris Collier Group Commercial Director of CK Group said:
“I read with both interest and increasing frustration many ‘experts’ purporting to state categorically that all the problems within the recycling sector and mainly plastics (which is our business), are caused by exports and PRN. I fundamentally disagree with this very misguided and dangerous position, a position which I believe if let develop will ultimately kill our UK recycling sector and mean less waste collected for recycling.”
The CK Group believes that the UK must look to export some plastics as, quite simply, it produces more waste plastic than UK based plastic product manufacturers can consume. If some plastics are not sold overseas, it will ultimately end up in landfill, which would defeat the objective of recycling.
“It is important that the counter argument is heard, and loudly. In forming this new division, the intention is to create a voice of reason, one that sees the industry from a wide not narrow perspective with expert understanding,” Collier continued.
“It also seems that there is a disconnect these days with many not understanding that recycling is a cyclical commodity based business where margin managing is critical. Whilst both we and TRA passionately want a strong and vibrant UK reprocessing sector, it must be robust and sustainable without protectionist intervention which we believe will ultimately fail. I think also many have muddled what PRN’s are there for – they are not to help either UK reprocessor or exporter, but to support and encourage growth in recovery levels from landfill.”
The inaugural meeting took place on Wednesday 29th April at the Daventry head office of The Recycling Association. The plastics focus group will meet on a regular basis and will feed through to their board of Directors. Another objective is appointing directors whose primary specialty is plastics onto the TRA board.