In the past, every year, the United Kingdom sent 500,000 tons of plastic waste to China for recycling. However, China now banned it from importing plastic waste and announced the termination of the transaction. The UK Recycling Association said Britain currently does not have the capacity to handle most of the waste and does not know how to deal with it.
The BBC reports that from 2014 to 2016, the UK exports about 800,000 tons of plastic waste each year, of which about 500,000 tons are destined for China and Hong Kong. However, this month, China officially launched a new law prohibiting the import of so-called “foreign rubbish” and attempting to upgrade its industrial structure. The UK Recycling Association said Britain currently does not have the capacity to dispose of most of its scrap.
Simon Ellin, chief executive of Recycling Association, said 55% of paper and 22% of British waste are rubbish, and he does not know how to deal with the problem in the short term. Irene said: “This is a big blow to us and a turning point in our industry.‧‧‧ We do not have this market in the UK, which means there will be major changes in our industry.”
Peter Fleming of the Local Government Association said it is clear that incineration needs to play a part, but in the longer term, a smarter waste disposal strategy is still needed.
However, incineration will inevitably lead to dissatisfaction with environmental groups. The government is currently levying plastic levies on one-time use and consulting on industrial organizations for the storage of plastic bottles. Michael Gove, Britain’s minister for environment, food and rural affairs, also said his long-term plan is to reduce the proportion of plastic in the economy, reduce the quantity of different plastics and increase the recovery rate.
However, it is still not clear to the United Kingdom how to achieve such a long-term goal and how to deal with the short-term problems caused by the ban in China.
source : BBC
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