Chinas ban on taking plastic waste

How has China’s ban on plastic waste had an impact on how the UK processes recyclable material?

You’ll have heard in the news that China’s ban on taking plastic waste has had an impact on how the UK processes its recyclable material. Whilst it’s reasonable to think that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit would present the biggest challenge to the Waste Management industry, decisions made in China to restrict the import of recyclable materials have had a far more significant impact.

Councils and Waste Collection Firms have been directly affected by China’s restriction on importing mixed paper and certain types of plastic

How does this affect the UK?

The recycling costs to councils have increased by as much as £500,000 on average over the last year as a result of China closing the door on paper and plastic.

This additional cost is due to increased costs for processing recyclates. Recyclable material is a global market and the Chinese restrictions have meant that commodity prices have dropped. According to the LGA, fees charged to councils to process materials collected from kerbside collection is said to have increased by c. 50% over the last year.

Will the cost of commercial recycling increase?

This increase in processing cost affects small businesses with their waste collection prices increasing as a result. At Unyfi we recommend appraising your waste collection costs now.

This way, you can make sure that your business is in the best financial position regardless of what happens over the next year. To help you with your waste collection costs, we offer a no-obligation assessment.

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