6 September 2019 by Lucy Pegg

Our Paper campaign to ‘change focus’

EXCLUSIVE: The Our Paper campaign is to “change focus” after struggling to make an impact with local authorities.

The Our Paper campaign is to “change focus” and work on a new message

The project – which was launched in February by the Confederation of Paper Industries – aims to support councils in improving the quality of the paper for recycling which they collect and encouraging them to collect it separately at the kerbside from other recyclables to remove financial risks (see letsrecycle.com story).

Yet Our Paper has had a “disappointing reaction” from local authorities, according to minutes from a meeting last winter of the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI), and appears to have moved forward little in recent months.

Simon Weston – director of raw materials at the CPI – told letsrecycle.com that Our Paper has now decided to “change focus” and is in the midst of a “transitional phase”.

“We are now undertaking a broader campaign. We are pointing out to councils that if they produce rubbish they need to be able to sell it,” he explained.

“We haven’t given up on it. We wish that local authorities would listen.”

Mr Weston noted that Our Paper has hired creative agency RedStone to work on the project. It will be announcing its upcoming work soon.

Paper market

At its launch Our Paper warned councils that China, Vietnam and other export markets were restricting imports of low-quality materials, meaning local authorities could struggle to sell on their recyclable material if it was not of a high standard. The Our Paper website notes that “no country wants to become the next dumping ground for low-quality mixed recycling”.

“We haven’t given up on it. We wish that local authorities would listen.”

Simon Weston, CPI

The campaign wants to encourage a move to twin-stream collections, where paper is accepted separately, as an antidote to this turbulent market.

Our Paper said: “Improving the quality and quantity of paper and card recycled is good for the environment, good for your council taxpayers and good for British manufacturing that uses high-quality recovered paper to produce high-quality recycled papers and cardboard – building the circular economy.”

Local authorities

While some councils have moved to twin-stream collections in recent months, others have moved to commingling.

Three district councils in Lincolnshire have begun a trial where they will collect paper and card recycling separately from other dry mixed recycling at the kerbside (see letsrecycle.com story).

Another twin-stream trial began in Gateshead and South Tyneside in February, soon after the launch of Our Paper. The test-run is due to end in

However in August North Warwickshire borough council announced that it would move from a twin-stream system to fully commingled kerbside collections – the local authority cited falling paper prices, lack of efficiency and the costs of replacing collection receptacles for its decision.

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