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Agency briefed on China ban after delegation visit

An Environment Agency (EA) official is returning from China after meeting officials there to discuss the tighter restrictions and some bans on the import of secondary materials.

The unnamed representative was in a small fact-finding delegation that included Simon Ellin, chief executive of the Recycling Association.

Members were attending the 2018 Cycle Link International Recycled Fibre Quality Conference in Shanghai on 1-2 February.

The EA said its representative was due to give a presentation at the conference and would meet Chinese environmental regulators before returning to brief colleagues.

The visit was mentioned earlier in the week by resource minister Therese Coffey (pictured) at a hearing of the Environment Audit Committee into the Chinese restrictions.

Chair Mary Creagh accused Defra of not reacting fast or strongly enough (“a missed opportunity”) when it became clear in the summer that UK waste exporters would be hit.

Coffey mentioned the EA visit after telling MPs that the UK had previously made representations as part of EU lobbying at the World Trade Organization. She said she did not accept it was a crisis.

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