UK's 'Green Growth' needs feeding with home-made plastic waste, claims Axion
- 01 July 2011
- Company & Industry News
Axion Polymers has echoed industry concerns over increasing shortages of usable plastics waste in the UK and joined calls to reduce our dependence on export of valuable waste streams that should be the 'new lifeblood' for the country's green economic growth.
Processing UK-collected raw materials into high-grade recyclates and products at home is more sustainable, maximises value creation for the nation's GDP and safeguards employment in a young and growing recycling industry, says the Manchester-based plastics recycler.
In addition, the removal of large proportions of non-plastic waste fractions from poorly-processed, low-quality primary waste streams ensures that the originator's Duty of Care for Waste has been met and that end-of-waste criteria can be verified within the local regulatory framework.
It is also important to ensure that any 'true waste' found within the plastic raw materials finds its way to a controlled waste location and carries the full cost of disposal which applies in the country of origin.
Axion's advanced Salford plant manufactures high-quality, 100% recycled polymers, including a carbon-labelled product from retail packaging waste, for use in injection-moulding and extrusion applications in a variety of commercial and industrial sectors. These products are meeting the need in the UK and European marketplaces for a fully-certified route to recycle plastics from primary WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) treatment sites.
Commenting on concerns over supply issues and output quality from MRFs expressed recently by the BPF's Recycling Group (BPFRG), Axion Director Keith Freegard confirms these are shared by processors across the country.
"Getting the right quality and consistent, regular volume is a real issue and many share serious concerns over valuable resources being lost to our industry through export," he says. "There's also the issue of maintaining confidence with the 70% or so of households that are diligently collecting and sorting their plastic packaging waste and those making the effort to take WEEE items to Civic Amenity sites for recycling.
Pointing out that for nearly five years European WEEE recycling has been funded by electrical equipment manufacturers and paid for by consumers when they buy new electronic items, Keith adds: "By now, the OEMs should be reaping the benefits of a regular flow of high-quality, competitively-priced recovered materials within Europe that originate from the 'urban mining system' they have paid to create.
"However a failure in the current market structure is preventing this closed-loop route from working efficiently due to the ease of exporting the WEEE plastic waste to regions where the need for volume overrides quality."
Axion Polymers is part of the Axion Group that develops and operates innovative resource recovery and processing solutions for recycling waste materials. The Group works with a wide range of clients within the recycling and process industries on the practical development of new processing and collection methods.
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