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UK plastic exports to Malaysia triple following China ban

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Exports of plastic waste from the UK to Malaysia have tripled in the first four months of 2018, after China banned the import of 24 grades of solid waste at the start of the year, according to the latest HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) figures.

China had announced at the beginning of the 2018 that it would be banning imports of some types of solid waste, including post-consumer plastics and mixed papers. This caused panic in the UK recycling industry, as – until the start of the year – the UK had relied on China as an outlet for waste which could not be recycled domestically. Exports of around 494,000 tonnes of plastics and 1.4 million tonnes of recovered paper were sent to China every year.