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FRN News

DEFRA’s Proposed Waste Policy could lead to crisis for millions of people

In the Furniture Re-use Network’s (FRN) response to the recent Waste Prevention Consultation, the national charity states that DEFRA is placing a high expectation on others to create a programme of waste prevention activity and absolves Government of any real intent or impact.

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Poor Standards do not meet our reuse requirements

FRN has read and reviewed the Reuse Standards work released yesterday by WRAP with dismay and disappointment, finding it lacking in content and scope of risks, liabilities or application. The Furniture Re-use Network suggests such a poor standard would be devastating for the future of the reuse sector due to its very basic requirements leading to poor performance and expectation.

Craig Anderson of the Furniture Re-use Network said that “This is a poor standard, devoid of content, with little to no evidence of utilising the knowledge, experience and expertise of the reuse sector operators or the logistical and retail sectors. This appears driven purely by waste legislation with a complete lack of reference to operational risks and management requirements that are commonly found in a distribution and retail environment; it should be remembered that reuse is for consumers in the main with waste only being the source of product in some circumstances.”

Mr Anderson, the CEO of FRN went on to say “In our opinion the documents published are little more than a scoping study, at best a description and flow diagram of a simplified reuse method statement. To adopt this as a standard without fully embracing the intricacies and details of a reuse operation would harm the sector and give no confidence or assurance to the consumer, discarder or contractor. It is telling that, as quoted, neither WRAP nor the authors accept any liability whatsoever for any loss or damage caused, arising directly or indirectly, in connection with reliance on its contents.”

FRN is extremely concerned that such a light-touch standard and the proposed branding to accompany it will give reuse consumers an impression of product quality that will prove lacking and potentially dangerous which will in turn be disastrous for a sector with such a long and worthy history.

FRN will make a fuller response to the consultation in the coming months.

FRN Response to launch of Waste Prevention Programme Consultation

Paper Recycling to benefit from Reuse

The first output of the Waste Prevention Programme for England landed on FRN desks yesterday and we are disappointed to say that we expect the programme to deliver more of the same …… paper.

From FRN’s first reading the consultation is devoid of any policy let alone any sight of a programme of activity that might deliver change and encourage more reuse and waste prevention.

 “The content of this consultation gives the reuse sector little hope for strategic or practical interventions by the Government to support and build opportunities for a more holistic approach to resource management and product stewardship. We need objectives and actions based on the sector’s work to date, but there is a complete absence of any such mechanisms and sadly only more emphasis being placed on soft-touch concepts, metrics and data.” remarked FRN Chief Executive Craig Anderson.

“Much of the Government’s work with the reuse sector to date has been to research evidence of what the sector does and what barriers there may be to its growth. But this consultation shows little evidence of that learning and more pointedly shows little evidence of how the Government is going to set in a place a programme of activity to satisfy the requirements the European Commission’s Waste Framework Directive. “

It is very apparent that the Government is putting more emphasis on the fact that it wants to be confident that others will do the job for them with little direction or support. What is telling from the number of pages dedicated to different sectors is that the majority of stakeholders receive 3 to 4 pages each; the actual operators of reuse and waste prevention receive ½ a page only. We will continue to measure in paper.

“Yes, the reuse sector can deliver £1billion of savings for low income customers and the economy through furniture and electrical reuse, we are already a third of the way there, but not when the supportive energies are misguided and the resources directed toward consultants and agents who research the reuse and waste prevention operators, only to regurgitate the information back at the sector. We already know what we do and what we need to do to increase reuse; what we need is a concerted effort by the Government to set targets and requirements on the waste sector to pull the reusable products out of the their waste streams and send them for reuse.”

“The reuse sector has the ambition but needs the Government to recognise the benefits and savings to society through reuse and create mechanisms to reap the results that Defra and other Departments are looking for. Standing on the outside of the circular economy espousing subjective and unqualified recommendations on paper is not welcome and will not only be disappointing but, will be detrimental to the future impacts of reuse and waste prevention activity in England and the rest of the UK.”

The FRN does not want to witness the continual light touch and misguided dalliances into reuse and waste prevention and we will be making a full and robust response to the consultation.




Fill Your House For Free - FRN's View

Kirstie Allsop’s `Fill Your House For Free’, Channel 4, Tuesday, 23rd July 2013


There is a huge amount of furniture thrown away each year – 10 million items on average – but oddly, furniture re-use charities cannot meet the demand placed upon them by people in need and in crisis for essential household goods.

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