Parry & Evans

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Parry & Evans is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Highlighting best practice
Stephen Evans, managing
Think globally, act locally, recycle
today: the Parry & Evans way
Parry & Evans was founded over 50 years ago in 1961 as a
small recycling company. Their founder, the eponymous
Jack Evans, is the father of current managing director,
Stephen, who joined the business in 1977. They began
working in Welshpool, Montgomeryshire, on the local cattle
grounds; fast-forward to today, and the company operates
predominantly now from Deeside, on the Deeside Industrial
Estate, where they employ a team of 60. With Stephen’s sons,
nephew and sister all involved in the business in some capacity,
and Jack still coming in at breakfast to boost the team’s morale,
Parry & Evans are undoubtedly a family- and community-
All cardboard, paper and plastic material has value, and we are dedicated to
reducing the amount of waste that is landfilled by engaging in promoting resource
efficiency to the benefit of both the environment and the local economy for all
companies, councils and communities. Put simply, our Deeside and Welshpool sites
are recycling centres where we sort and bale material for national and international
export. Once it arrives at its destination, this material is then effectively reprocessed
and recycled.
To support the scale and quantity that we export, we utilise state-of-the-art Tomra
infrared sorting systems, which can isolate materials and indicate the grade they
must be sorted to, and colossal balers which allow us to process around 3,000
tonnes of material a week.
»Managing director:
»Established in 1961
»Based in Mid and North Wales
»Services: Recycling and waste
services across the UK
»No. of employees: Over 60
»Family-owned and managed
»Processes over 3,000 tonnes
of material every week
Parry & Evans
Family, quality and sustainability
To this day, Parry & Evans remains a
family-run business, and that sentiment
is a massive part of everything we do.
This is not just reflected in the fact that
we were founded by and presently
employ relatives, but also that we treat
every single member of our team as an
extension of the Parry & Evans family. It’s
incredibly important that everyone works
together and supports one another for
everything to work smoothly.
Alongside that, we have a real focus on
quality – not in the least because many
of the countries we export to, namely
China, require high-quality processed
material if we are to export, but also
to improve the grading and value of
our material. Achieving a continual
focus in this regard is easier said than
done, however; we’re now trying
to convey that through education,
teaching people to recognise quality
and separate effectively.
Finally, sustainability and environmental
responsibility are, naturally, incredibly
important in our line of work, and go
hand in hand with driving quality.
Further demonstrable growth
Turnover has increased year on year
alongside profitability; this trend has
diminished somewhat over this financial
year, as a result of new, stringent
Chinese quality control requirements,
but we have otherwise been performing
very well. This has allowed us to reinvest
– we’ve increased our tonnage by
replacing and upgrading both plant and
machinery, and have recently purchased
a brand-new fleet of MAN trucks which
are more fuel- and driver-efficient.
This trend of success has also allowed
us to improve things on site. Further
reinvestment led to the opening of
our Deeside site in 2010, which now
handles around three quarters of all
material, and we anticipate that our
third site nearby will be fully functional
over the next few months. Additionally,
we have been able to focus a significant
proportion of our resources towards
further sustainability, including a new
substation which reduces toxic emissions
and increases renewable energy usage,
and energy-efficient LED lightbulbs.
Quality control and producer
A significant percentage of our
international business involves
exporting to China. Recently, they,
along with Vietnam, Indonesia,
Thailand and Poland, have been
tightening their regulations when it
comes to inbound materials, namely
with regards to quality control. This
has been a monumental challenge –
to cope with it, we have purchased
the aforementioned two new Tomra
infrared sorting systems, brought
in a brand-new baler with its own
site and building, and are training
staff in-house to ensure that they
understand and recognise quality. We
want our staff to know what to look
for across both sites. Alongside this,
we have been working closely with
both customers and suppliers to see
that they also remain educated and
informed about the stringent quality
requirements of exporting material to
be recycled.
Recycling through the
generations; keeping
family at the heart of
it all
We treat every
single member
of our team as
an extension
of the Parry &
Evans family
Highlighting best practice
Secondly, we belong to the Recycling
Association, and over a series of
conversations, several pertinent,
industry-specific issues have been
highlighted. Global quality restrictions
have been one such discussed concern,
but what the Recycling Association
really wants to focus on for the
future is securing the UK’s position
as a leading producer of a quality
product along a supply chain. This is
an initiative that involves over 1,000
British businesses, and if it is to be
successful, a complete overhaul of
the current producer responsibility
system is necessary. Producers should
be paying for 100 per cent of a
distributed product’s life cycle rather
than the current ten per cent.
Looking internally
Thankfully, Brexit has not had too
much of an impact for us just yet.
When it comes to value, the real
concerns lie with China – we don’t pay
for a lot of international transactions,
and we don’t lose too much when it
comes to foreign currency exchange.
With that said, however, we are export-
reliant as an industry. The fact that we
alone have experienced a downturn
in the wake of more stringent quality
requirements is testament to this.
We have to question why this industry
isn’t sustainable in Britain alone.
With more financial support and
encouragement from the government,
and a better culture of recycling
among the general public, it could
become a feasible reality. Even though
we do manage to process 3,000
tonnes a week, it really is just a drop in
the bucket – it’s an expensive process
for us to manage even that, and yet
the figures regarding landfill waste are
still verging on insane. With a better
framework and funding programme
from the government, we might see
the industry and the environment in
the UK thrive.
Becoming less reliant
Going forwards, we want to recognise
the problem that Chinese quality
control has proven to be and learn from
it. We need to spread the risk across
the world, not become overly reliant
on a single country, and start to look
internally for the future of recycling.
When it comes to the business in a
more traditional sense, we do have
a five-year plan, and there are new
projects on the horizon. We’re always
keen to increase our tonnage, and
wary not to overstretch ourselves. It’s
about keeping things steady, stable
and organic, and ensuring that,
no matter how much things may
change, we’re driving forwards with
productivity and sustainability at the
heart of all Parry & Evans operations.
are, naturally,
important in
our line of
work and go
hand in hand
with driving
Over 50 years’
experience in the
recycling industry; go
green with Parry & Evans

This article was sponsored by Parry & Evans. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.