If Brexit isn’t enough of a challenge, the UK is about to face problems when it comes to recycling and plastic waste. Many people in the UK don’t even realise when they put plastic bottles into their recycling bins that most of it is sorted and shipped to countries like China.
China has now banned imported plastic in a bid to reduce their waste footprint. The UK actually exports almost two-thirds of its total waste to China with companies shipping more than 2.7 million tons of plastic waste since 2012.
Chinas plan to stop importing other countries waste plastic won’t come into effect until 2018 but it also includes paper. The UK environmental secretary Michal Gove will have to make plans to manage where the UK’s waste will go. With China deciding it will no longer take our waste, the UK either needs to reduce its need to export it, or begin dealing with its own rubbish.
It may mean that councils start becoming stricter when it comes to recycling bins; what’s accepted and what’s not. At the moment it appears there are no firm plans on how we will deal with the situation.
At the start of 2018 you may find there are some significant changes in the way you recycle, no doubt we will begin receiving information leaflets and a real drive towards using recyclable plastics and materials.
We won’t only see a change in the way we recycle at home; the shops and retailers are going to need to take responsibility and change the way they package goods. The UK will have an even more pressing need to invest in recycling it’s paper, plastic and other toxic waste.
Although unfortunate, the UK may be able to turn this into an opportunity. As they always say, one mans trash is another man’s treasure; the UK could take the opportunity to invest and develop recycling methods pathing the way for a greener future.
At Cash In Your Gadgets, we pride ourselves on recycling electrical goods such as phones and laptops but we’d also like to see the UK leading the way in general waste recycling.