New textile recyclers accreditation standard launched

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:
The TRUST accreditation lasts two years

A new accreditation standard for recyclers who trade with charity shops has been launched to boost standards in the sector.

The TRUST (Trader Recycling Universal Standard) accreditation lasts two years and applicants must pass a series of tests across five categories including health and safety, environmental standards, efficient transport and sound business practice.

It was formed from the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) Forum which included representatives from charity retail chains, academics, waste reduction charities textile recyclers and CIWM.

It has been backed by more than 2,500 charity shops across the UK, with large chains including the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and Oxfam stating that moving forward, they will only deal with TRUST-accredited organisations when trading donated items that can’t be sold on the shop floor.

The fees recyclers pay to acquire the status will support the not-profit making scheme, which aims to boost the commercial aspects of compliant recyclers.

Robin Osterley, Charity Retail Association chief executive, said: “There are many recyclers out there whose business practices are exemplary, but sadly there are also a few who fall short of the standards we would expect.

“This initiative, supported by many of the largest charity retailers, will go a long way to ensuring competitive advantage for those who are doing the right thing, and provide comfort for charity retailers that they are dealing with reputable and healthy organisations.”

Local authorities, waste management companies, and other retailers will be encouraged to use the TRUST accreditation for their own sectors.

The Charity Retail Association will in future only accept recyclers who are TRUST accredited as corporate members, with an intention of developing a system where only TRUST merchants will be gaining stock from the charity retail sector.

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