Thank you to all our members who attended our Autumn members’ meeting in Birmingham last week and all those who visited our stand and events at RWM and Letsrecycle Live afterwards.

Over 80 WRA members attended our early morning meeting at the Hilton Metropole featuring high-profile speakers from Defra and the Environment Agency as well as the usual WRA updates.

Linda Crichton MBE, team leader for packaging producer responsibility at Defra, outlined the recent ministerial changes at the Department and how this had impacted the timescales for the introduction of new extended producer responsibility regulations for packaging.

With regards to wood specifically, she said that the Department intended to keep the wood packaging recycling target at 35% for 2023 but was looking to introduce higher targets from 2024 to 2030. The Department is also looking at ways to incentivise reuse.

When asked for the WRA’s view on recycling targets, WRA Executive Director Julia Turner explained that wood recyclers were already achieving higher rates of recycling and were keen to see a target of 48% for 2024, commenting: “Our point is we are already achieving higher recycling levels now.”

“Once we have more concrete proposals we will share them more widely”, Ms Crichton explained.

Howard Leberman, senior advisor for site-based regulation at the Environment Agency, updated members on regulatory changes impacting the sector, with consultations currently taking place on exemptions, waste tracking, carriers, brokers and dealers and standard rules permits.

He outlined the Environment Agency’s proposals for potentially hazardous waste wood from demolition activities when Regulatory Position Statement 250 (RPS250) ends and discussed moves to crack down on POPs – Persistant Organic Pollutants – in Domestic Seating.

When RPS250 ends in 2023, he said the Agency was planning to allow this material to be blended by waste wood processors and sent to biomass operators.

“We are going to do this through our permit review programme”, he said.

Urging members to engage with the Agency on all these issues, he commented: “There is a lot of change on the horizon. There is no better place that to be in a trade association to ensure all your main concerns are raised.”

Following the meeting, the WRA had a busy day at RWM and Letsrecycle Live at the NEC where we spoke to many members and non-members on our stand and also hosted two successful events. This included a workshop on Waste Wood Classification Made Easy run by WRA board member Vicki Hughes and a panel discussion on the Wood Market, chaired by WRA deputy chair, Andy Hill.

Our next Members’ meeting will take place on Wednesday, December 7 at the Telford Holiday Inn. It will be a closed meeting, meaning that only members can attend, and will feature updates on the work of the WRA’s newly formed sub-groups.

If you are a member of the WRA you will be sent details about the meeting and hotel booking information. For more information contact

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