British Polythene Industries' chairman Cameron McLatchie has slammed the activities of illegal waste exporters who he said are exporting heavily contaminated waste farm plastics as a ‘green waste' – undermining the UK structure for plastics recovery by exporting it for recycling overseas.
“Because of the high levels of non-plastic contamination contained in waste farm films – dirt, sand, straw, plus general farmyard waste and effluents – Defra and the Environment Agency (EA) have rightly classified this waste as ‘notifiable' under the Waste Regulations and this waste should only be collected with appropriate paperwork, and exported from the UK after notifying the EA,” said McLatchie.
“Sadly, the export of this type of waste from the UK has increased as waste exporters flout the requirements by ignoring their responsibility to notify this waste to the EA. This could have serious consequences for the UK, where we currently meet EU recycling targets by exporting ‘green' waste to the Far East.
“We are struggling to get waste at an economic price, as waste exporters move farm waste to the Far East,” continued McLatchie. “Apart from the issue of not complying with the Transfrontier Shipment Regulations by failing to notify the EA, I fail to see how they are saving the planet by shipping containers of dirt and other contaminants half-way around the world.”