Refuse to China

According to the Independent
last year Britain sent more than 200,000 tonnes of plastic to China for recycling along with 2 million tonnes of used paper or cardboard plus large amounts of steel and redundant electrical goods. In China companies pay up to £300 per tonne for bottles made from PET while in Britain the price barely reaches £100 per tonne. It costs about £500 to send a 26 tonne waste container to China so it is more profitable to send waste plastic to China than to recycle it here.

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5 Responses to Refuse to China

  1. matt says:

    Free market preachers will say that this is market pricing working as it’s designed to do. Trouble is their little book says nothing about responsibility in dealing with the problems we create. We should deal with our own soiled linen in our own backyard by implementing solutions locally. Not hive it off to some foreign land.

  2. Pete Smith says:

    Exactly. This is the globalised equivalent of crapping in the river next to your house and relying on external processes to carry your mess away. Some poor schmuck downstream gets the ‘benefit’. And ends up scraping a living from turning it into something he can sell, or spread on the fields.

  3. matt says:

    Good analogy.

  4. inel says:

    I agree. We need to deal with our own waste and recyclables ourselves locally. However, considering a few bad examples from our track record in the UK I hope we get it right from now on:

    Medieval human waste:

    … they relied on “external processes to carry it away” at the Tower of London for centuries. The River Thames was meant to supply the flushing. On a recent visit, a Tower tour guide told us that during excavations it was discovered that the moat must have become the biggest cesspool in Europe. Not my cup of tea …

    Current day nuclear waste:

    UKAEA admits to illegal dumping

    The operator of a nuclear complex in Caithness has admitted illegally dumping waste and allowing radioactive particles to be flushed into the sea.

    The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) pleaded guilty to four charges under the Radioactive Substances Act at Wick Sheriff Court.

    They relate to activities at Dounreay between 1963 and 1984.

  5. inel says:

    P.S. I meant to add that nuclear story is from the BBC website.

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