Royal Trinity Hospice shops have backed a new accreditation standard for recyclers who trade with charity shops. The Trader Recycling Universal Standard (TRUST) has been devised by a coalition dedicated to boosting standards in the recycling sector.

TRUST has the backing of more than 2,500 charity shops across the UK as well as the Charity Retail Association, Textile Recycling Association and other waste reduction and recycling experts.

Royal Trinity Hospice along with British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Oxfam, The Salvation Army and Sue Ryder, has pledged to only deal with TRUST- accredited organisations when trading donated items that cannot be sold on the shop floor.

Textile traders are important to the charity retail sector because they buy textiles that charity shops are unable to sell to the public. This ensures the charity has income from these donations and that the items are reused and recycled, and do not end up in landfill.

The charity retail sector collects around 330,000 tonnes of textiles every year. The organisations backing TRUST hope that most charities will follow suit and commit to using accredited recyclers to incentivise all companies in this space to adopt the standard. The Charity Retail Association will in future only accept recyclers who are TRUST accredited as corporate members and will encourage its 400 members to back the accreditation. TRUST accreditation is based upon a comprehensive series of tests across five categories (health and safety, sound business practice, labour, environment and transport). The fees recyclers pay to become accredited 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.”

Daniel Holloway, Director of Retail at Royal Trinity Hospice said: “Royal Trinity Hospice is proud to have a strong reputation for valuing our donated stock, treating and displaying it well and raising as much as possible from our donations.

“We want to make sure we raise as much as possible from all donations, including those we are unable to sell in our shops, but will not do this at the expense of our ethical and environmental standards. We are therefore delighted to be among the first charity retail chains pledging to use TRUST-accredited recyclers in the future”.

Find more information on the TRUST website: www.trustmerchants.org.uk