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All 13 Quality Protocols to be reviewed by the Environment Agency


Quality Protocols (QPs), end of waste frameworks, were produced between 2004 and 2015 and are recognised by the Environment Agency (EA) and used by industry on a voluntary basis to identify the point at which waste, having been fully recovered, may be regarded as a non-waste product. This means the waste derived material can be used in specified markets without the need for waste regulation controls. 

Due to their age they might not meet current technical or legal standards or might not support the latest waste processing technologies. So, the EA plans on reviewing all 13 QPs over the next 12-18 months.

What’s Happening?

All 13 QPs will be reviewed over the next 12 – 18 months. Factors to be considered in the initial review of each QP will include:

  •  Issues of clarity
  •  Evidence of the abuse of the Quality Protocol
  •  Evidence that the terms of the Quality Protocol are excessively onerous
  •  Evidence that the terms of the Quality Protocol do not demonstrate end of waste
  •  Evidence of unintended risk of pollution, or impacts on human health, or the environment
  •  Desire from industry to include additional waste inputs to the process or applications of the end product
  •  Development of new waste processing technologies
  •  Development of new end product markets
  •  Development of new product standards
  •  Changes in the law
  •  Potential impacts on other Quality Protocols
  •  Any other relevant issues that become apparent during the review

How: The Review Process

After an initial review, a decision will be made on whether or not the EA will continue to support each QP. One of the below outcomes of the initial review are:

  • EA supports the document with its current wording or where only minor amendments are required.
  • EA no longer supports the QP, but industry confirm they would wish for it to be revised and updated. This would involve a complete overhaul of the QP, paid for by industry, to bring it up to date so that it would meet the latest standards.
  • EA no longer supports the QP and industry do not wish or is unwilling to meet the EA's costs for its revision. Meaning any material produced in compliance with the QP would no longer be regarded as a non-waste product and the relevant waste regulation controls would apply.

About three QPs will be reviewed at one time and the first three to be reviewed are:

For additional information please contact Sam Hinton – – at ADBA, who will be updating and aggregating responses to the EA and relay them. Sam can also share the full EA briefing note with you.

Alternatively you can contact the EA directly by emailing the review team at 

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