The Scrap Metal Dealers Act which came into effect in late 2013 had a very positive effect on the industry. The Act was introduced to reduce the theft of metal which at its peak, the Home Office estimated to cost the economy more than £220 million per year. This Act outlawed the payment of cash for scrap metal by recyclers and also required every scrap metal dealer to obtain a licence to trade from their local authority.
With national theft figures on the rise again, reflecting the increased cost of commodities, there is strong support in the industry for the Scrap Metal Dealers Act to be tightened. Enforcement of the Act through re-establishment of the Metal Theft Taskforce has also received significant support nationally.