The UK’s recycling industry says it doesn’t know how to cope with a Chinese ban on imports of plastic waste.
Britain has been shipping up to 500,000 tonnes of plastic for recycling in China every year, but now the trade has been stopped.
At the moment the UK cannot deal with much of that waste, says the UK Recycling Association.
Its chief executive, Simon Ellin, told the BBC he had no idea how the problem would be solved in the short term.
“It’s a huge blow for us… a game-changer for our industry,” he said. “We’ve relied on China so long for our waste… 55% of paper, 25% plus of plastics.
“We simply don’t have the markets in the UK. It’s going to mean big changes in our industry.”
China has introduced the ban from this month on “foreign garbage” as part of a move to upgrade its industries.
Other Asian nations will take some of the plastic, but there will still be a lot left.
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