Latvia to return illegal plastic waste to various UK companies

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Latvia Why Recycle illegal plastic waste
A picture of the waste illegally imported by Why Recycle into Latvia that will be returned to UK companies

Latvia’s State Environmental Service (SES) has said that it will repatriate illegal plastic waste imports that were sent by various UK recycling companies.

Almost 550 tonnes of plastic and rubber waste was imported by a company called Why Recycle from the unnamed UK businesses.

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As Why Recycle has submitted a financial security of €100,000 (£90,000), if it does not cooperate voluntarily, SES will use the opportunity to recover the costs from these funds.

The illegal imports were discovered when SES carried out an inspection, following information from Polish authorities on possible illegal transboundary shipments to Latvia, including at Why Recycle’s plant.

Why Recycle has a waste permit to sorting and temporarily store municipal waste, but not a permit to manage imported waste.

In a statement, SES said: “SES has established that shipments of plastic and rubber waste received from Great Britain have been imported into Latvia illegally without receiving the approval of the SES prior to their importation and thus not complying with the internationally established conditions for cross-border waste shipments.

“It seems, prima facie, that the accompanying documents provide distorted and false information, namely that a poorly sorted mixture of municipal waste is referred to as plastic waste.”

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