Last month saw the Environment Agency outline major steps to stop the illegal exportation of waste under the guise of recycling.
Steps from the Environment Agency
With greater scrutiny on where UK waste and recycling ends up, the agency has stepped up its actions to address the problem which were outlined in a three-page document on 22nd July. Changes include a single national team becoming responsible for producers and waste shipments. Commenting on the changes, the agency said making this change “means that officers are able to focus solely on this work, with associated improvements in levels of expertise and resilience, flexibility to target our resources nationally where there is highest risk”.
In addition, the ‘Producer Responsibility Investigation’ team which were established in 2018, is continuing its focused investigations around materials recovery facilities, international waste shipment offences, separate collections and producer responsibilities.
With the media spotlight increasing on global warming and the role that waste plays in contributing to the destruction of our planet, the question of what happens to recycling once it has been collected and sorted is become increasingly prevalent. As such, it is more important than ever for businesses to work with reputable waste management companies who offer real transparency around their processes and onward waste partners.
Choose the right waste company
When choosing a waste manager, price will obviously be a key consideration, but this should never be at the expense of professionalism and ethical responsibility. Working with a waste company that does not adhere to ethical practices could cost your business it’s reputation and much more.
The internet has allowed for increased transparency across business processes and customers are far more likely to vote with their feet if they discover that a business or organisation is behaving in an unethical fashion. What’s more, in today’s online environment word spreads fast and the damage that can be caused by choosing the wrong business partner can be catastrophic for your business’s bottom line.
This extends to waste. Waste reduction, reuse and recycling are all top of the agenda when it comes to an organisation’s green credentials. Producing products that are full recyclable, easy to segregate and processed efficiently to contribute to the circular economy at the end of their lifespan is very important to consumers. Similarly, employees want to work for companies that are serious about reducing waste and increasing more sustainable recycling practices.
At Cawleys we make it our business to ensure all avenues for our waste disposal are as ethical as possible and make sure that the waste we collect and segregate is put to good use. For example, we work closely with bio-bean to ensure all coffee grounds waste is utilised to maximum effect and transformed into coffee logs. Similarly, we ensure all suitable drinks cups are directed to one of two specialist facilities in the North of England where the lining is separated from the paper elements to ensure they are recycled effectively. For more general materials we have a robust audit trail in place with all of our waste partners and only recently we have planned a trip to northern Europe with one of our key clients who is interested to discover more about his waste’s journey after it leaves our facility. The trip is due to take place later this summer and we’ll be sharing the full journey soon.
Ultimately, holding waste companies and their partners to account is an extremely good thing. Transparency is key and if your waste provider cannot assure you that your recycling efforts are going to good use, it’s time you re-considered your waste collection provider.