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UK Set to Meet 2017 Packaging Recycling Target

UK Set to Meet 2017 Packaging Recycling Target

UK set to Meet 2017 Packaging Recycling Targets

Statistics from the National Packaging Waste Database have shown that the UK is on track to meet its targets for packaging recycling this year. Aluminium and steel recycling has already achieved 2/3 of its target, and paper and wood recycling has achieved 73% and 94% recycling rates respectively. Glass and plastic recycling aren’t doing so well, and have only met 52% and 54%.

This is in the face of concerns about the impact that China’s intention to crack down on the importing of some materials might have on the recycling industry as a whole.

Worries about a ban on Chinese imports

China has announced that it intends to ban some imported materials from the end of the year, which has worried recycling companies across the world.

The country is banning some scrap materials because of concerns that the materials are mixed with hazardous waste, which adds to China’s pollution problem. Materials that are on the banned list include mixed papers, textile materials and most scrap plastics, like vinyl chloride and PET.

This is worrying for recycling companies in countries that have relied on sending the majority of their recycling to the Chinese market, and this includes the UK, where there are fears that a ban on plastics will have a huge impact on plastic recycling targets.

Businesses sending their recycling to China must now make sure that the materials they send are high quality, or they may not get accepted.

The effects of a ban are unclear

The Chinese government is getting serious about protecting the environment and the health of the general public, and they are very clear that all waste exports must be of the highest quality. Recycling companies say that it is too early to know what the full implications of the ban would be, because the full details are not yet known.

China imported over 7 million tonnes of plastics last year, which is 56% of all global exports, so even if the full implications are not yet clear, what is clear is that any changes will have far-reaching consequences.

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