Queen's Speech: LGA responds to exported waste announcement

“We are keen to work with government and the waste industry to consider the impact of this ban, which will lead to new costs for councils as it will restrict where they can send recyclable material."


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Responding to today’s announcement in the Queen’s Speech that the exporting of polluting plastic waste will be banned to countries outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Cllr David Renard, Environment spokesman for the Local Government Association, said:

“We are keen to work with government and the waste industry to consider the impact of this ban, which will lead to new costs for councils as it will restrict where they can send recyclable material.

“The problem of exported waste being returned to its country of origin would not exist if producers stopped using poor quality materials which are becoming increasingly difficult for councils to process.

“A review of available infrastructure will be needed to address capacity issues to meet the expected rise in recyclable material that will have to be processed in the UK and whether it can be dealt with in an affordable manner.

“As this ban applies to all plastic, any material not covered by the producer responsibility scheme is not funded by the creators of that waste. Council tax payers have to foot the bill, which we are willing to work with government to address. In the longer term, we need action at a national level to expand the UK market for recycling.

“The ban by China and other countries on imported paper and plastic waste has led to some councils’ recycling costs increasing significantly over the past year, which risks limiting councils’ ability to recycle. Councils need support to help them offset the loss of income they face due to the ban.”