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uk plastic mountain feared after china sends back plastic waste

29 Nov 2012

A plastic mountain is feared after reports that China is returning rubbish sent from Britain because the quality is so poor.

China and the far east accepts nearly 70% of the plastic waste generated by the UK, but now Britain faces a crisis after the waste is being returned on the grounds of low quality.

The Environment Agency has warned that in this year alone 17 containers, containing 420 tons of plastic, have been refused by Asian countries as the government cracks down on ‘dirty’ plastics.

The regulations ban imported unwashed post-consumer plastic, any waste being transferred to a company other than that stated on the import licence; and stopping the trade of unwashed plastic leftover from the sorting of imported plastic and paper.

Now Beijing has warned that China may stop accepting unwashed, household plastics scrap altogether as it strives to recycle only high quality materials. Despite efforts in the UK to encourage better practices, it doesn’t look like households are organising proper sorting of plastics and other wastes.

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