16 May 2005

Materials Recovery in compliance with export regulations

The company fined last week for illegally exporting waste materials to India said today that since the case arose, it “immediately ensured full compliance with all transfrontier shipment of waste regulations”.

Buckinghamshire-based Materials Recovery Ltd was fined 20,000 for shipping material in breach of international trans-frontier shipment of waste (TSW) regulations during 2003 (see letsrecycle.com story).

The company, which is owned by Irish utilities company NTR, said today that it “fully accepts the ruling of the court in relation to its non-compliance”.

But, it added that “since becoming aware of this issue MRL immediately ensured full compliance with all TSW regulations, which are acknowledged in the sector as being highly complex”.

Commenting on the case, a spokesman for Materials Recovery told letsrecycle.com that the issues had only come to light after the buy-out of another company, and that the plastic concerned was being exported “to a licensed facility for recycling and not for disposal”.

Documentation


The prosecution related only to the lack of the necessary documentation for the export activity, rather than any actual harm to the environment, the spokesman explained.

He said: “The issue solely relates to administrative compliance and does not in any manner relate to any harm to the environment. The Environment Agency acknowledged that MRL cooperated fully with them during the investigation. MRL has had no prior prosecutions of any description and is proud of its good record.”

The export of waste materials, including plastics, is governed by the green, amber and red list system. Although materials like recycled paper can be exported relatively easily under the terms of the “green list”, other materials not on the green list require more stringent controls and if exported under the wrong list are termed illegal. Material cannot be legally exported for disposal purposes.

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