The government has announced that local authorities who collect paper for recycling purposes are being urged to separate paper and offer a separate collection to allow people to recycle more paper.

Councils are being advised that countries where paper is not being recycled properly, do not want to become dumping grounds for others who do not have the infrastructure or desire to separate out their paper streams.

The warning comes from a newly established industry campaign group called ‘Our Paper’ which has been devised in partnership with the government-backed recycling and resources charity WRAP.

Who are ‘Our Paper’?

The campaign is being led by the Swindon-based Confederation of Paper Industries with Sarah Raymond of Palm Recycling as its first chair. Former WRAP policy director Ray Georgeson, now chief executive of the Resource Association, has been appointed programme director for ‘Our Paper’.

In an interview it was discussed that – Local authorities are reminded, in the first ‘Our Paper’ market briefing that analysis by WRAP has shown that moving to multi-material kerbside sorting could deliver net financial benefits to local authorities “of up to £400 million over eight years, adding up to seven percentage points to the national recycling rate and returning up to £478 million of materials into the economy as dry recyclables.” However, Mr Georgeson emphasised that ‘Our Paper’ is not in any way exclusively interested in multi-sort kerbside, with the paper sector and others involved in the initiative, “keen to see separate fibre, regardless of collection type and much of this will come from two-stream collections and other collection models”.

Furthermore it was added that: “The message remains simple – paper and card recycling are the backbone of most kerbside recycling services, improving quality and quantity is good for the environment, good for council taxpayers and good for British manufacturing using high-quality recovered fibre to build the circular economy.”

But what else is changing and why is this important? In the interview, Sarah Raymond, chair of the ‘Our Paper’ steering group said: “The coming months and years will see significant changes in the way we manage recycling. Future developments in Extended Producer Responsibility, food waste collection and enhanced consistency of collections are rising up councils’ agendas with forthcoming Defra consultations on all these issues.

Acumen will watch this space and already offer a service of paper collection and recycling. If you would like to know more, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our team today.