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Recycling Association launches China quality export scheme

A new Quality Control (QC) scheme has been jointly developed by the Recycling Association and the Chinese Certification and Inspection Group (CCIC) London in order to ensure UK shipments of waste paper meet Chinese export requirements.

Following China’s decision at the start of the year to ban the import of 24 grades of solid waste – including post-consumer plastics and unsorted mixed papers – and impose contamination restrictions of 0.5 per cent on all other waste imports, quality of UK waste exports has come under the spotlight.

China now requires all shipping containers destined for China to be inspected. The new QC scheme creates an additional level of scrutiny at the depot level to ensure that material meets Chinese specifications.

Recycling Association launches China quality export scheme

The new QC system will be introduced for companies that wish to take part and can be added onto the current QC systems that most depots already have in place. Data from the new system will be recorded and made available to CCIC London using an app developed by the group. Companies that do not wish to take part in the new system face the alternative of having CCIC London physically inspecting their consignments to China.

The Recycling Association has long championed improvements in the quality of recyclate being sent abroad, launching its Quality First campaign in 2016 and calling for a whole supply chain approach, including improved packaging design, to reduce contamination of shipments to overseas waste export markets.

Commenting on the new QC system, CCIC London Managing Director Shouyun Huang said: "Thanks to the Recycling Association Quality First campaign, UK material has seen a huge improvement to meet the quality standards set by the Chinese Government.

"We are very pleased to have worked in partnership with the Recycling Association to develop this new Quality Control scheme that will meet the Chinese inspection requirements while maintaining high quality fibre exports to China."

Simon Ellin, Chief Executive of the Recycling Association, added: "This partnership with CCIC London to develop this Quality Control system is proving the UK commitment to high quality fibre exports.

"With other export destinations also increasing their quality requirements, this QC system will prove to be beneficial to exporters in ensuring their material meets the rules of the export destination. We are confident that the UK will increasingly be seen as a country that provides the best possible product to the end destination.

"Our Quality First campaign has made huge strides in improving quality, and this QC system is the next step in an inspection regime that allows UK exporters to continue to meet Chinese specification and regulation."

Using blockchain for transparency

The next stage of development will see the creation and deployment of blockchain technology to demonstrate transparency to those needing to see inspection data and export paperwork. This would mean that depots, exporters, shipping lines, the CCIC, UK environment agencies, end destination customs authorities and purchasers of material can all see data associated with a shipment. However, competitor companies would not be able to view the data.

In order to explain how the new system works and enable depots to start implementing it, CCIC London and the Recycling Association will be running a series of regional seminars at the end of November.

The seminars are open to any company that exports to China, as well as third party operators like retail distribution centres. There is no charge for attendance, nor are attendees required to be a CCIC London client or member of the Recycling Association.

The personnel from companies attending should be those actively involved in day-to-day depot quality control and operations, as well as those involved in training these staff. Up to five people per depot are allowed to attend the seminars.

These seminars will take place on:

26 November – London
27 November – Manchester
28 November – Glasgow
29 November – Bristol
30 November – Wolverhampton

You can find more information on the Recycling Association website.

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