Recycling: Where is the plastic waste mountain?

China introduced its ban on “foreign garbage” as part of a move to upgrade its industries 12 months ago. At the time, the UK recycling industry warned that the decision would be a “game-changer” and that it would be a struggle to deal with the country’s waste.

Where is that plastic mountain?

Well, it hasn’t appeared – partly thanks to other countries taking our waste plastic instead, and partly because we are burning more of it.

In the wake of mass public alarm about plastic pollution we may also be producing less plastic waste, although it’s impossible to be sure of the figures

Who has taken our waste instead of China?

In the 12 months to October 2018, our analysis of Environment Agency figures shows that the UK exported a total of 611,000 tonnes of recovered plastic packaging to other countries.

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