A new accreditation standard for recyclers who trade with charity shops has launched.
The Trader Recycling Universal Standard (TRUST) is the outcome of a coalition dedicated to boosting standards within the recycling sector and represents the Charity Retail Association, Textile Recycling Association, charity retail chains, academics, waste reduction charities, textile recyclers, along with input from the Environment Agency, the WISH (Waste Industry Safety and Health) Forum and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM).
It also has the backing of more than 2,500 charity shops across the UK. British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Oxfam, Salvation Army, Sue Ryder and Royal Trinity Hospice, with other charities expected to follow, have all indicated that they will only deal with TRUST-accredited organisations in the future when trading donated items that cannot be sold on the shop floor.
Local authorities, waste management companies, and other retailers will also be encouraged to use TRUST accreditation for their own sectors. In addition, the Charity Retail Association will in future only accept recyclers who are TRUST accredited as corporate members.
Being TRUST accredited will mean recyclers are committed to meeting robust and ethical business standards with accreditation lasting two years from inspection.
Applicants must pass a comprehensive series of tests across five categories:
- Health and safety
- Sound business practice
Whistle-blowing procedures are also in place should any accredited business fall below standard. The fees recyclers pay to acquire this status will administer the scheme, which is non-profit making.
Charity Retail Association Chief Executive, Robin Osterley, 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 and others, 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.”
TRUST Chair and British Heart Foundation Sustainability Manager, David Roman, added:
“Charity shops are hugely grateful for the donations we receive, which help fund our vital work.
“We want to ensure those donations are taken care of every step of the way, which is why we extend our duty of care to the recycling merchants we trade with.”