In 2004, the UK market for non-metal recycling was worth an estimated £855m - a 25% increase on the figure for the previous year.
Press Release Body = Non-Metal Recycling
In 2004, the UK market for non-metal recycling was worth an estimated £855m - a 25% increase on the figure for the previous year. This report offers a detailed analysis of sectors such as paper and board, glass and plastics, with additional information on the recycling of a range of other materials, including electrical and electronic waste and end-of-life vehicles, both of which are the subject of recent legislation. The report also analyses recycling in the municipal sector, where the collection of segregated waste streams for recycling is being introduced on a wide scale.
Trends in recycling are discussed in the context of the waste hierarchy, which prioritises options for waste management and disposal. Waste reduction, re-use and recycling are the preferred options because they offer the sustainable use of natural resources as well as diverting waste from landfill (which is one of the least desirable options in the waste hierarchy). However, the recycling sector faces several challenges. The UK is well behind most other EU countries in its use of recycling, and its waste strategy is still under review. Within the industry, there is a desire for non-municipal waste to be given a greater emphasis by the Government. There is ample scope for improvements in waste reduction at source, and a stronger lead by the Government and large companies would help to encourage more environmentally responsible purchasing policies. In addition, the increasing restrictions on waste disposal have stimulated the practice of illegal fly tipping.
If the recycling sector is to have a major impact on waste management, a comprehensive infrastructure of collection and recycling services will need to be developed. Specialist services will be required for complex products such as electrical/electronic equipment and end-of-life vehicles. As part of this development, the skills base in the recycling sector will have to be improved to produce a core of managers and operatives capable of running these new companies in a profitable manner.
In the future, the UK market for non-metal recycling is expected to grow as legislation tightens in two directions: restrictions on landfill (with punitive taxes) and stipulations as to how specific waste streams should be recycled. This legislation will need to be accompanied by the licensing of recyclers, greater producer responsibility and the willingness of equipment users to ensure that discarded products are recycled through the proper channels.