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MPs to consider China ban impact

The Environmental Audit Committee, a cross-departmental House of Commons watchdog, is holding a one-off session into the impact of the Chinese waste import ban.

Committee chair Mary Creagh (pictured) said: “The UK has been relying on China to recycle its excess of waste for years, but that market is now drying up. The UK will now have to deal with millions of tonnes of extra plastic and paper waste, leading to fears it will be landfilled or incinerated instead of recycled.

“We will examine the environmental impact of the ban, whether the Government has made adequate preparations and what the Government can do to ensure the UK’s waste is managed sustainably.”

The committee is inviting submissions on:

  • How much waste within the banned categories does the UK currently export abroad, and what proportion is sent to China?
  • What short- and long-term issues will the Chinese ban create for waste management and recycling in the UK?
  • What are the environmental implications of the ban?
  • What preparations has the UK Government made ahead of the ban and are these preparations sufficient to deal with the degree of change it will cause?
  • Have there been preparations to export waste elsewhere? What degree of control does the UK have over how waste is handled once it has been exported?

The deadline for submissions is Friday 19 January at 12pm.

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