Environment Minister Richard Benyon has said that two thirds of plastic packaging was exported, according to the latest figures.
In a written reply to a question from Sir Tony Cunningham MP asking what proportion of plastic packaging waste was exported for processing for the latest period, and what the emissions of this were, Richard Benyon answered: “Data from the national packaging waste database shows that 16 per cent of the total plastic waste arising was exported for recycling. Of the plastic packaging that was recycled, 67 per cent was exported for recycling.
“Defra undertook an impact assessment for the new targets which took account of the emissions associated with the transport of waste for reprocessing overseas when calculating the costs and benefits. Export of waste for recycling has a net environmental benefit compared to landfilling.”
Sir Tony Cunningham also asked a written question on what compensation will be offered to plastic packaging manufacturers if they pay for an amount of recycling under the producer responsibility obligations that cannot be delivered due to inadequate local collection services.
The Minister answered: “Producers only pay for recycling that has been delivered and reflected in Packaging Waste Recovery Notes. This is a producer responsibility system and it is the responsibility of obligated producers to ensure that sufficient material is collected and recycled to comply with their legal requirements.”