Despite new laws to tackle UK scrap metal thefts, most businesses now insist on buying workplace products made out of alternative materials to metal. That is according to the workplace product supplier Slingsby.
A ban on paying cash for scrap metal was introduced, fines increased for dealers trading in stolen metal and new police powers to close unlicensed scrap yards have come in.
Lee Wright, Marketing Director at Slingsby, says: “These measures have definitely helped to curtail the market for stolen metal as there is now a clear audit trail back to whoever brings metal into scrap yards and there are more severe penalties for those who step out of line. Plus the new Scrap Metal Dealers Act gives police powers to close unlicensed scrap yards and there is now a national register of scrap dealers. The act also requires dealers to keep identification records of anyone selling them metals and Magistrates can issue unlimited fines to any metal trader they find dealing in cash, operating without a licence or breaching the licence conditions.
“While these changes, combined with falling metal prices, are reducing the appetite for stolen metal, lots of businesses and organisations now refuse to buy metal products if there’s a chance that a thief could steal them. The growth of scrap metal thefts throughout the UK in recent years has definitely left a sour taste and as a result we’re regularly asked to provide plastic alternatives for all types of products including benches, litterbins and even signs and it’s a trend that’s definitely growing.”
The firm gives examples of plastic products as freestanding litter bins, bollards and furniture such as benches.