One day this will be a pointless question; sadly, not today.

Disheartening news that the Environment Agency has revoked the licenses of 6 facilities who export plastics, with investigations ongoing. This follows allegations their waste is leaking into rivers and oceans.

PRNs’ (Pern’s or Packaging Recovery Notes) are part of a system designed to ensure that large producers of packaging help to fund its recycling. The system has faced much criticism for fraud and is currently up for review. You can read more about these PRNs’ here.

First Mile tackles this issue proactively. We only take material to licensed UK facilities, and your business can access details on what we collect and where it goes, right down to license numbers and locations. From there, we obtain data on secondary destinations from any facilities that sort our customers’ material to send on to other processors, in order to track our supply chain even further.

To know more or play your part, here are 3 things you can do:

1. Make sure you’re recycling in the correct way and have the correct bins and services for your waste.

Much of the pressure on the industry stems from poor quality recycling not being accepted for export. Contamination of recyclables is more important than ever. Use posters, clear branding, and ensure staff clean items contaminated by food or liquid.

2. Recycle Food.

Food is the biggest contaminator of recyclable products. With the emphasis being placed on the quality of materials being recycled, do everything you can to enlist your colleagues to recycle food, even if your business only produces a small amount.

3. Ask us where your material goes.

We’re determined to make it easy for customers to understand what happens to their recycling, by being transparent and open with our data. Access accurate information on facility types, licence numbers and locations through our customer portal or customer service team, whenever you wish.

Together we can be part of the solution. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.