Exporters of plastic waste for recycling have increased volumes sent from the UK to Turkey, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia, Michael Gove, Secretary of State for the Environment, has told Parliament.
He has also cautioned against burning plastic for energy recovery as an alternative to recycling, saying that the waste hierarchy should be followed.
Mr Gove said that there had been an increase in exports of paper to Turkey, Taiwan and Vietnam. He did not mention India although waste paper merchants have said that India is a destination for some export material, as is Cambodia.
Mr Gove told Parliament that “On 1 January 2018 China imposed a ban on the import of certain types of waste including mixed paper and post-consumer plastics (plastics thrown away by consumers). In addition, some other types of waste, including all other paper and plastics exports, will have to meet a reduced acceptable contamination level of 0.5% from March 2018.”