50 million pounds a year: Video enlightens contamination as „enemy of recycling“


Birmingham, UK — A new video highlighting the challenge of contaminated recyclate for UK reprocessors and promoting a high quality approach to recycling collection has formally been eleased by the Resource Association.  Entitled „Contamination – The Enemy of Recycling“, the video is the latest element of the Association’s Recycling Quality Information Point project, and features Association members from across material streams describing the daily reality of poor and inconsistent quality of incoming recyclate and what can be done about it.

Ray Georgeson, Chief Executive of the Resource Association argued: „Contamination of recyclate remains a major issue for the British reprocessing industries. As I mentioned in the film, it costs UK industry at least 50 million pounds a year to clean up poor quality material that arrives at our factory gates. The video illustrates in some detail the issues the UK manufacturing industry faces from the material that comes from many British households.“

„Major contributors to the recycling supply chain are losing out – local authorities are missing out on value, the recycling industry bears a cost of clean-up and this slows the investment and job creation potential of our industry at a time when we need it more than ever.  We want to assist councils in understanding better the impact of contamination and importantly, what we can do together to improve this.“

The video has already been shown at several WRAP workshops held for local authorities to improve the quality of dry recyclables. So John Shannon, Strategic Waste Manager for Durham County Council who attended one of the WRAP workshops commented: „I like to think I have a fair grasp of issues surrounding recyclate contamination however the video highlighted the minute levels of contamination needed to adversely affect, through to causing catastrophic failure of, resultant recycled products. I was not aware of such dramatic effect from so minimal levels of contaminant being present and by highlighting this it puts in perspective why it is essential to accurately communicate what can and cannot be collected and how residents can positively contribute to the whole process.“

The film is available on YouTube at youtube.com  and on the Resource Association website.

Source: Resource Association