16 Oct, 2023

The Quality Protocol: Aggregates from Inert Waste was developed by the Environment Agency and WRAP) (Waste & Resources Action Programme) to provide guidelines and standards for the use of recycled aggregates in construction projects. Its sole purpose is to ensure that recycled aggregates have met the End of Waste criteria, meet specific quality requirements and are a suitable substitute for primary aggregates used in construction.

In doing so, the WRAP Quality Protocol: Aggregates from inert waste, promotes sustainable waste management practices, whilst establishing a standardised framework for the use of such aggregates. This helps to minimise the environmental impact commonly associated with construction activities. 

The implementation of the WRAP Quality Protocol; Aggregates from inert waste also helps to provide confidence to contractors, clients, and regulatory bodies with regard to the quality, and more importantly, the suitability of recycled aggregates.

Definition of WRAP Quality Protocol: Aggregates from Inert Waste

The WRAP Quality Protocol aims to promote the use of recycled aggregates over primary aggregates without the use of hazardous materials. It establishes a control process which, if met, means that the aggregates will be deemed as ‘fully recovered’ and cease to be waste. 

Once deemed a ‘non-waste’ product, the materials can be used in specific markets without the need for waste management controls. Such materials must meet common aggregate standards and specifications. 

At ACS, we advise our clients as to the appropriate testing and testing frequency required, depending on which of the following end uses are proposed for the recycled aggregates:

  • BS EN 13139: 2013 Aggregates for Mortar 
  • BS EN 12620: 2002 Aggregates for Concrete
  • BS EN 13242: 2002 Aggregates for Unbound Materials

The recycled aggregates should conform to the relevant British Standards to achieve the end-of-waste criteria. 

The Importance of Recycled Aggregates

Environmental impact in construction (in particular energy consumption and CO2 emissions) has reached an all-time high. 

In the face of potentially irreversible damage to our climate, it is important that we are all aware of our carbon footprint and take steps to strive towards a more sustainable future. One way that this can be achieved within the construction industry is through the use of recycled aggregates. 

What Are The Advantages of the WRAP Quality Protocol: Aggregates from Inert Waste?

There are numerous advantages to the WRAP Quality Protocol for the use of recycled aggregates in the construction industry. 

As there is now a standard in place, it allows for the use of aggregates which would normally have been considered waste to be recovered and re-used. 

Some of the key advantages of the WRAP Quality Protocol include:

Reliability and Durability 

The consistency, strength, and durability of recycled aggregates that have achieved end of waste status are on par with traditional primary aggregates. They will therefore perform to the same standard as primary aggregates. 

Compliance and Quality Assurance 

WRAP Quality Protocol  provides users with confidence that recycled aggregates such as sand, gravel and/or crushed stone, conform to industry specifications defined by appropriate European Standards for use in construction projects. It allows users to trust the quality and performance of recycled aggregates.


One of the greatest advantages of recycled aggregate is the fact that it is environmentally sustainable. When recycled aggregates are processed and reused locally, it can significantly cut down carbon emissions and waste materials. 

Health & Safety

The WRAP Quality Protocol is designed to protect public health and the environment. By producing recycled aggregates in compliance with the WRAP Protocol, the risk of contamination or soil degradation is reduced, thus promoting sustainable and safe construction practices.

At ACS we produce a process-specific document which complies with the WRAP Quality Protocol.

A WRAP Quality Protocol-compliant document includes the following:


Providing an overview of the purpose/scope of the WRAP Quality Protocol; Aggregates from inert waste 

Waste Acceptance 

Criteria for accepting waste materials including the types of aggregates allowed i.e. restrictions or requirements 

Factory Production Control (FPC)

Outline of controls and procedures to ensure consistency, quality, and conformity throughout the manufacturing process

Testing and Compliance

Specify testing suites and frequency to comply with the appropriate standard for the intended end use of the products

Product Sales

Specifying the requirements for documenting aggregates

Plant & Machinery

Clearly set out maintenance and calibration requirements for the plant machinery used to ensure accurate and reliable results

Site Management

Covers management of the site, i.e. safety measures, waste management practices, and environmental protection measures

Records and Reports

Accurate record-keeping and reporting to demonstrate compliance with the quality protocol to meet relevant regulations or standards

Our WRAP Quality Protocol Consultancy Services

As part of our consultancy service, we would recommend an initial site visit for a guided tour of the facility with subsequent discussions with the client on the plant and process and consideration of planned future changes.

ACS has provided quality testing and materials consultancy to the construction industry since 1987. We provide a comprehensive range of aggregates and soil testing to British and European Standards, together with Standard Highways MCHW requirements. Mechanical, physical, and chemical testing is conducted on a wide range of natural and recycled aggregates to ensure they are fit for purpose.

We provide our clients with UKAS-accredited sampling of materials including aggregates, bituminous, concrete, soils, and water monitoring. We understand the needs of our clients and offer both day and night work to meet deadlines where appropriate to ensure projects are not delayed. 

Our expert team provides on-site testing and sampling services across the whole of the South of England. We are also able to provide testing services across South Wales and the Isle of Wight.