HIGH WYCOMBE, UK, July 23, 2021 (Press Release) -No public interest has been served by the Environment Agency in bringing this prosecution. The UK does not have the infrastructure to recycle all of the wastepaper that householders send for recycling, meaning export is essential to avoid having to landfill or incinerate this valuable resource. The case established that the paper we were sending for export was over 99% pure. This is no different from the waste paper that is recycled in the UK. It would have been used as raw material to make cardboard packaging. The recycling industry has tried to engage with the Environment Agency on developing standards for export that reflect the realities of recycling that it can be measured against, but the Agency has not cooperated. Biffa no longer exports wastepaper outside the OECD but the industry overall has no choice but to do so. We urgently request that a set of coherent policies are put in place that either put exports on a stable footing or stimulate the necessary investment in the UK so that it is no longer needed.
With a history of leading the UK’s waste management industry for over 100 years, today Biffa is an established enabler of the UK circular economy.
Our team of more than 9,000 colleagues carry out essential operations every day to support the UK circular economy including collection, surplus redistribution, recycling, treatment, disposal and energy generation.
Our purpose is ‘to change the way people think about waste’ and sustainability has been at the heart of our business strategy for many years. We have already made huge strides in our sustainability journey by investing in plastic recycling and energy from waste infrastructure, surplus redistribution and low carbon collections, leading to a 70% reduction in our carbon emissions since 2002. Our sustainability strategy ‘Resourceful, Responsible’ will see us unlock £1.25bn of investment in vital green economy infrastructure by 2030, while further reducing our carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. We aim to have net zero emissions no later than 2050.
We understand that we must lead by example and are committed to further improving health, safety and wellbeing in our sector. We are proud to have been awarded a 5 star grading by the British Safety Council. We have also made strong progress in making sure Biffa is an inclusive place to work where diversity is championed and our >9,000 strong workforce feel valued and understand the positive contribution they make to enabling the UK circular economy.
Our long-standing Biffa Award programme supports sustainable projects across the UK which deliver environmental benefits while making a valuable contribution to local communities. Our partnership with WasteAid helps countries in the developing world with managing their waste more sustainably.