Resource Association to close after eight years

The Resource Association has announced that the organisation will be closing on 31 December 2019, subject to formal ratification by its members in December.

The decision was taken by the Board of Directors in light of what the Association calls the ‘changing priorities of its members’, who have less need for the cross-sector policy work of the Association in a time of economic uncertainty.

The closure of the Association will now be ratified by members at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 10 December, where arrangements for the handover of elements of the Association’s work to partners will also be confirmed.

The Resource Association has announced it will be closing at the end of the yearSince its inception in 2011, the Resource Association has represented the interests of the whole secondary materials supply chain, including local authorities, collection and recycling companies, reprocessors and packaging producers, and championed the value of UK reprocessing and recycling in terms of employment, resource efficiency and its role in the transition to a low-carbon, green economy.

The Association has been a standard-bearer for high-quality recycling, producing the voluntary End Destinations of Recycling Charter to encourage transparency around where recyclables end up once they have been collected and the Recycling Quality Information Point (ReQIP), which outlines the recyclate quality requirements of reprocessors.

The Association was also vocal on the issue of Chinese import restrictions, which saw 24 grades of solid waste, including mixed papers and post-consumer plastics, banned at the start of 2018, calling for ‘bold and radical’ leadership from government on the issue of plastic waste.

Since then, changes to the UK’s recycling system laid out in the Resources and Waste Strategy promise to significantly remodel the UK’s recycling architecture, while all major parties have promised to ban the export of plastic waste to non-OECD countries ahead of the general election.

Commenting on the decision, Chief Executive Ray Georgeson said: ”It is with a heavy heart that we make this announcement today, but the time is right for us to close the Association. We are currently exploring opportunities to pass on the baton for some of our activities to strategic partners in the resources industry.

“Speaking on behalf of the members, I know we can be proud of the work we produced in eight years of activity and the influence we have had on the agenda around material quality, transparency and circular economy thinking.

“We are encouraged that many of the key objectives identified when we founded the Resource Association are now present in Defra’s [Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] recent Resources and Waste Strategy, as well as in the policies of the Devolved Governments.

“I would like to thank all our members and associates for their extraordinary support and fellowship as we have pursued an agenda focussed on achieving the best environmental outcomes for waste resources.

“Finally, I want to say a special thanks to Andy Doran, our founding Chairman for his unstinting support throughout and to Carole Saul who has done a quietly magnificent job of managing our administration and events from the very early days.”

Resource Association Chair, Andy Doran, Senior Manager (Sustainability and Recycling Development) for Novelis Europe, added: “The decision to close the Resource Association is not one we have taken lightly, but at a time of reform in the industry, the current focus of our membership has changed.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Ray and Carole for their professionalism and dedication representing the interests of the Association’s members.” 

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