The Recycling Association chief executive Simon Ellin 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 the Quality Seminar, organised by Cycle Link International in Suzhou, China, Simon 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.”
In his presentation to an audience made up of paper industry exporters from China, Europe, US, Australia and UK, Simon Ellin added that putting quality first was key to long term sustainability of the UK recovered paper market.
He added: “As China’s green movement grows, and as we have heard at this conference, 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 was also encouraged to hear from Chinese inspection agency CIQ officer Ju Wong at the conference that it would like to liaise with other regulators around the world to work towards similar standards.
“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.”
The Quality Seminar has been organised by Cycle Link International, which supplies recovered paper to the Shanying Paper Group. It took place from 10-14 October.