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UKCRA reports on remanufacturing conference

September 22, 2015

Laura Heywood at the remanufacturing conference

From left: Dr Michael Gell, Winifred Ijomah, Laura Heywood

There were discussions of a government pilot scheme where remanufactured toners could be used alongside new toners to compare cost and sustainability effectiveness.

The meeting took place to assess the impact of the ‘Triple Win’ report on the benefits of remanufacturing that was launched in December 2014, which the United Kingdom Cartridge Remanufacturing Association (UKCRA) contributed to. The pilot scheme question was posed by Laura Heywood, Secretary of UKCRA and Director of Kleen Strike, who said that remanufacturing’s role in removing the price volatility of virgin materials has been “well recognised”.

Leading the follow-up conference were Members of Parliament Caroline Spelman and Barry Sherman, with its purpose being to “determine if […] any progress or changes in the industry had taken place since the report was launched”.

Heywood said two presentations in particular “agreed that more needs to be done by government and the business sector to support remanufacturing”, one of which was from Dr Winfired Ijomah, Senior Lecturer at University of Strathclyde and Director of the Scottish Institute for Remanufacture, and the other from Ben Peace, Sustainability Lead of the KTN (Knowledge Transfer Network).

She said “there needs to be more emphasis in understanding that remanufacturing is not to be viewed as ‘second best’ or ‘less in quality’ than the original new product. For this to gain any strength and protect UK jobs, government needs to put more weight on sustainability and reuse rather than on price in their procurement tenders”.

Dr Michael Gell, an expert in ecodesign and environmental assessment, was also in attendance. He commented: “There was recognition of the need to move away from design features which might negatively impact the re-useability of products as they enter the remanufacturing cycles.

“This is even built into the new WEEE Regulations at their review stage on product design (Regulation 74 on Product Design in the UK WEEE Regulations).”

Haywood also said that the meeting showed it has been “well recognised” that remanufacturing is advantageous in reducing virgin material price volatility, adding that “the more products that are UK remanufactured, the fewer virgin materials are required – as well as more UK jobs created – a triple win case for serious consideration”.

 

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