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UK’s Waste Plastics Processing Policy Criticised by Business Executives

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 15:21:26

A number of the most influential business leaders in Britain have written to the government to request a change in the way that plastic waste is dealt with, arguing that the large proportion of materials being exported to developing nations is effectively offloading the UK’s home-grown recycling issues without solving them.

The letter, which first appeared in the Daily Telegraph this week and included signatories such as Iceland managing director Richard Walker, claims that it is vital for plastic waste generated domestically to also be dealt with domestically.

With vast volumes of discarded plastic packaging being sent abroad at the moment, there are real fears that claims of improving recycling rates are inflated and a lot of this discarded material is simply dumped at landfill sites in poorer parts of the world.

The letter also points out that although continents like Africa and Asia are blamed for the plastic pollution that is becoming prevalent in the oceans, it is very likely that a lot of the material actually originates from western countries like the UK which do not have the infrastructure to handle this internally.

Of course, some plastic which is shipped abroad does end up being recycled, with China leading the way in collecting a lot of this waste to plough back into its vast manufacturing sector. However, it is clear that many major decision-makers in the UK are troubled by the current state of play and are eager to see some changes take place to make outsourcing plastic recycling unnecessary altogether.

While it may not contain specific answers to this issue, the letter does show that there is a willingness amongst big businesses to make some kind of contribution to ensuring that the UK’s policy on plastic waste evolves.




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