A new Quality Protocol published by the Waste Protocols Project, a joint WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) and Environment Agency initiative, will simplify the recovery of waste non-packaging plastic - such as plastic pipes, toys and garden furniture - and make it easier for manufacturers to incorporate the material into new products.
Compliance with the Quality Protocol, which applies in England and Wales, will give plastics recyclers the opportunity to assure the quality and consistency of the materials they produce. This will help them take advantage of a range of business and environmental benefits, including potentially lower energy costs, increased revenue and significant reductions in the amount of carbon dioxide created through production processes. Plastic converters or manufacturers who buy Quality Protocol compliant material may also benefit from a reduction in their material costs; and they will have the assurance that they are purchasing a fit-for-purpose, consistent and reliable non-waste product.
Made in consultation with key stakeholders from the plastics industry, this new protocol works by establishing end-of-waste criteria for the production of secondary raw materials from waste non-packaging plastics. Crucially, recyclers and processors who comply with the protocol will be able to recover waste non-packaging plastic at an early point in the supply chain. When it has been converted into chips or flakes, for example, the material will no longer be subject to waste management controls.