Policy & Research

Latest report: Managing the Risk from Secondary Raw Material Price Movements

R&WUK has published a report prepared by Eunomia Research & Consulting examining the impacts of heightened instability in the commodity markets for secondary raw materials (SRMs), with an accompanying Position Statement outlining R&WUK’s response and proposed actions.

Volatile market conditions, coupled with low prices for secondary raw materials (SRMs), have challenged the financial viability of the sector in the last 12-18 months, and highlighted the difficulty of managing price risk over the length of typical SRM collection and reprocessing contracts.

The research, published at the RWM 2015 event:

  • reviews the applicability of financial price risk mechanisms applied in other commodity markets to the case of SRMs;
  • reviews the potential for other mechanisms and strategies to ‘smooth’ inter-period variation in SRM prices, taking into account the nature and period of typical recycling contracts; and
  • assesses the potential for alternative approaches to risk management through assigning risk to the parties best placed to manage them.

The report puts forward a number of recommendations. In the short term, it proposes cross-sector collaboration to develop a more balanced and transparent risk sharing framework between partners in the supply chain. In the longer term, it recommends exploring more fundamental change, including amending the Producer Responsibility regime to improve the value proposition for recycling, and the setting up of an independent fund to act as a buffer when market conditions are tough.

The full report can be found here, the press release here, and the R&WUK position statement here.

The technical appendix for the document can be found here.

R&WUK would like to thank the ESA Education Trust (ESAET) for funding this work and acknowledges that ESAET take no responsibility for the content or conclusions and recommendations arising from it.


R&WUK Manifesto: Sustainable resources & waste management: priorities for the incoming UK government

R&WUK has set out its priorities for 2015, with the overriding aim of encouraging a stable, co-ordinated and supportive policy environment for better resource management across the UK.
The report identifies six key policy areas and puts forward a number of recommendations and actions for both government and the industry. These are centred around the economic and the environmental benefits that this sector can offer, and its role in helping UK plc be more resource efficient and competitive in both home and export markets.

The key policy areas are:

  • Supporting and improving wastes collection and recycling performance.
  • Improving the climate for investment in circular economy infrastructure to deliver sustainable growth and jobs.
  • Boosting domestic UK demand/markets for recycled materials.
  • Creating the right regulatory balance between hitting waste criminals hard and reducing burdens on legitimate businesses in the industry.
  • Delivering coherent resources and waste policy across Government departments and between the four UK Governments.
  • Engaging positively in policy development for resources and wastes at a European level.

Click here to download the report

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