Ban plastic exports from 2027, say committee of MPs

In its report – The price of plastic: ending the toll of plastic waste – the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee said that a ban on plastic waste should come into effect from 2027. It added that the move should be part of a strategy to use less plastic, re-use more of it and boost recycling.
The chair of the Committee, Sir Robert Goodwill MP, said: “For far too long the UK has been reliant on exporting its waste overseas and making it someone else’s problem. Plastic waste originating in our country is being illegally dumped and burned abroad. The UK must not be a part of this dirty trade and that’s why we are calling for a total ban on waste plastic exports.”
Alongside a ban on plastic waste exports, the report recommended:
Encouraging greater adherence to the ‘waste hierarchy’ which stipulates, first, reducing the volume of waste by eliminating unnecessary use or packaging, then encouraging re-use of it, before turning to recycling;
Expediting the rollout of Extended Producer Responsibility and recommending that the scheme is applied to more producers, covering all businesses that put more than 1 tonne of packaging on the market by 2030;
Using some of the income raised by EPR and the Plastic Packaging Tax to invest in recycling infrastructure and to support research in technologies that can tackle hard to recycle plastics, such as plastic films;
Creating a taskforce to explore ways of encouraging greater uptake of re-use and refill schemes;
Varying the 30% recycled content level in the plastic packaging tax according to the needs of different sectors, as well as being increased over time.
Goodwill added: “To do this we need to reduce how much plastic we use and consume, invest in greater capacity to reprocess our own waste and support research into new technologies and materials. If the UK takes a lead in this, we have the potential to create hundreds of new jobs and build a multi-billion-pound waste management industry.”

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