What’s the UK government’s plastic policy? The answer: dump it on other countries!
Greenpeace reports that 40% of the UK’s plastic waste has been exported to Turkey last year. That’s equivalent to 210,000 metric tons! Less than 10% of plastic recycling in the UK is actually done in the country.
What’s even sadder about this news is investigators are reporting that, instead of being recycled, some of the waste being exported is illegally dumped by roads, fields, and in waterways.
Greenpeace is reporting Turkey is becoming Europe’s “largest plastic waste dump.” The nonprofit investigated 10 sites across southern Turkey and found plastic waste from UK supermarkets and retailers at all of them. Packaging for a coronavirus antigen test was found, showing that the waste couldn’t be more than a year old.
Apart from the U.S., the UK generates more plastic waste per person than any other country. And Turkey wasn’t the only country to receive the UK’s plastic waste. Malaysia and Poland also received large amounts.
Check out this video …
In response to Greenpeace’s report, Turkey is set to ban plastic waste imports. Also, ethylene polymer plastics have been added to the list of illegal waste importation.
Environmentalists are now worried that the UK will increase shipments of their plastic waste to other countries. These countries could be Malaysia, Poland, or the Netherlands.
Globally, more than 90% of all plastic waste ever produced has not been recycled. Scientists say plastic can take 1,000 years to break down and cause a hazard to the environment. They can even cause toxic substances to be released into our soil.
Plastic also causes a choking hazard to wildlife. Millions of animals are killed by plastics every year. Anything from small fish and birds to large whales.
At Karmagawa and SaveTheReef we think this is wrong. Instead of shipping their plastic waste to other countries, we believe the government should do a better job of taking care of their people and environment by making real and important changes to their recycling systems.
Also … please share this powerful video with your circle …
The director of this video, Amir Zakeri, created a masterclass for anyone in the Karmagawa and SaveTheReef community who would like to tell visual stories about the causes they care about. If you’re interested, here’s 50% off.
What do you think about the UK’s exportation of plastic waste to other countries? Leave a comment below.
(Cover image: MOHAMED ABDULRAHEEM/Shutterstock)