Since 2012, the United Kingdom has shipped more than 2,7 million tonnes of plastic waste to China and Hong Kong to be recycled. Yet, according to an article published on the Greenpeace blog, China announced they would stop importing British garbage starting from the beginning of next year, putting in difficulty recycling plants in the UK.
If the UK dutifully collects recyclable waste, there’s so much of them that the country lacks the structures to treat them all. Beijing’s decision and its quick implementation is tough on the UK, which budget and infrastructures do not allow, for now, to bring back the treatment of their waste.
Exports to other countries like Vietnam or Malaysia have therefore boomed, but this doesn’t solve the issue of plastic waste proliferation. In fact, the real effort would consist in drastically reduce the volume of British domestic waste. The European Union regrets, on the other hand, the lack of transparency in the treatment of exported waste, which suggests that they wouldn’t be properly recycled and even burned or buried. The will to preserve the planet and to have a more sustainable development must be followed by concrete individual actions in that way to limit pollution and its effects on nature.