UK must respond to news that China has banned imports of millions of tons of plastic waste

This could be the year we start burning more of our waste than recycling it (China’s plastic waste ban ‘creates a crisis for UK local authorities’, 3 January). There are already three English regions where incineration (energy from waste) has become the most likely way for councils to dispose of our waste and the amount that we recycle has flatlined in all but one area of the UK. The exception to this is Wales, partly because they use the incineration ash to make concrete and count this as recycling. We need to urgently cut down on how much we use and build the recycling infrastructure to deal with the waste ourselves. We need regulation to ensure that what we use contains a minimum percentage of recycled materials, so that we can build up the market for such products. Most urgent of all is a charge on incineration to remove the perverse incentive for councils to burn, rather than recycle.
Jenny Jones
Green party, House of Lords


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