As we head towards the end of 2017, we reflect on the year that’s gone.
The snap election in June, Chinese import restrictions, Brexit negotiations and plastic packaging waste have all dominated the media this year. Whilst progress has been welcomed in some areas of our sector, frustrations remain over a lack of clarity and movement in others.
For Clarity Environmental it has been a year of growth. We welcomed the arrival of several new team members into our compliance, waste and marketing divisions, were joined by a record number of new businesses to our packaging and WEEE compliance schemes, and our battery and PRN trading divisions have reported record-breaking trading results throughout the year.
Here we share our highlights of 2017.
PRN trading: Record trading figures in 2017
The PRN market was knocked from relative stability early in the year by the news that China’s General Administration of Customs was launching a year-long campaign to cut the illegal smuggling of ‘foreign waste.’ Fears that this crackdown would be a repeat of Operation Green Fence in 2013 were largely unfounded, and there was surprise when the Q2 and Q3 data revealed stronger than expected returns. After many months of rising prices, plastic finally dropped in November. China has, however, since confirmed that it will implement a 0.5 per cent contamination level on imported paper, cardboard and plastic waste from 1 January 2018, which could have far-reaching consequences for the UK’s recycling industry.
“With new purchasers turning to Clarity for our PRN services, we have seen impressive year-on-year growth in this division and our team traded its highest ever tonnage of PRNs in 2017, assisted by the expansion of our team at the start of the year.
“As we look towards 2018, it will undoubtedly be a busy year for the team, who are looking forward to working with the new members that have joined our packaging compliance scheme. With packaging obligations rising in the coming year, and the impact of China’s import restrictions still unknown, we will continue to closely monitor the markets and the impact of these moves on PRN production to ensure we can provide our members with the best possible price PRNs throughout the year.”
WEEE and Packaging Compliance: Growing our schemes
Our packaging and WEEE compliance schemes have also experienced impressive growth this year, with the largest number of businesses choosing to join our scheme in 2018.
This growth has been supported by a successful PRN trading division, which provides our packaging members with market-leading PRN services, and a WEEE recycling network that helps ensure we meet our WEEE compliance obligations.
We are also delighted to have retained all incumbent members for both schemes, which is testament to the hard work of our Account Managers who ensure we are providing first-class customer service and support to our members.
Packaging Compliance Account Manager, Martin Trigg-Knight, said: “We are proud of the service we offer to our compliance members, with cost-effective membership options, clear advice and friendly communication. More and more businesses are turning to us to help them meet their packaging and WEEE recycling obligations, and we are especially delighted that our current members have also chosen to stay with us for the 2018 compliance year.
“We look forward to working with all of our members, as well as introducing our packaging and WEEE compliance schemes to even more producers in the new year.”
Battery division: New hub helps to reduce our carbon footprint
With new suppliers choosing to recycle scrap lead acid batteries through our take-back scheme, our battery division has seen a significant increase in battery tonnage traded in 2017. Earlier in the year we also welcomed a new battery packing hub, which has enabled us to offer a faster and more efficient service to our customers in the south of England, with the added benefit of reducing our carbon footprint by cutting travel time.
Domestic network expands for waste-to-fuel division
There has been much debate this year over the future of waste to fuel exports to the continent. It is clear that exports will not continue at the previous rates, but while the UK remains a vital part of the European market we continue to supply to facilities overseas. This year, with the opportunities in the domestic market increasing, so has the network of UK facilities that we supply to. We are delighted to have developed some new business partnerships, with a growing number of waste producers joining our RDF and SRF network this year, and look forward to further expansion in 2018.
Giving something back
We have continued to support environmental charity Restored Earth in 2017, as well as donating to a range of other local and national charities throughout the year. We have plans to do even more in 2018, with the launch of a charity committee who will work with our staff and customers to select the charities and causes that our business will choose to support.
David Adams, Managing Director of Clarity Environmental, said: “Clarity has been built on ethical foundations and our charity work has always been important to us. With a long heritage in the waste industry, our donations to Restored Earth enable us to give something back to the environment. We are also keen to support those charities that have an association or meaning for our staff and customers. We will keep doing our bit in 2018 and would like to thank all of our customers who play a part in helping us to give back.”
We would like to take the opportunity to thank all of those we have worked with over the course of the year for their continued support and business. We wish our customers, suppliers and partners a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year and we look forward to working with you again in 2018.
If you would like to talk to us about any of our waste to fuel, environmental compliance or trading services, now, or in the new year, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team on 0845 129 7177 or email us at: email@example.com.
Christmas opening hours
Our operations will continue over the holiday period with a reduced service running from the afternoon of Friday 22nd December until 8am on Tuesday 3rd January. If you need to get in touch with Clarity during this time, please contact the office where our phones will be diverted for urgent enquiries.
Keep an eye on our website or subscribe to our monthly newsletter to get the latest from each of our divisions throughout the year.
Merry Christmas from us all.