How are we going to deal with all of our waste?

Bans and restrictions on plastic imports are forcing European countries to innovate and improve their own waste handling capabilities and capacities.

The UK are one of the biggest culprits for sending much of its’ waste abroad to countries such as China, Malaysia and Vietnam, however, these countries have, or soon will implement a no waste import policy preventing the UK and other European countries from exporting their waste. Reports even claim that countries like Malaysia are beginning to send waste back to where it came from.

The UK and other European powers face a dilemma on how exactly they are going to deal with the millions of tonnes of waste generated in Europe that would have once been exported elsewhere. A switch cannot simply be flicked to make millions of tonnes of waste just disappear.

Of course, this also brings concern over the impacts of all of this waste on our health as well as the environment. If you’ve been reading our other blogs you’ll be fully aware of some of the side effects of plastic pollution and its affects.

What should we expect to happen?

The European Environment Agency (EEA) explained that new bans and restrictions placed on imports by China in combination with a number of other banned types of plastic are forcing the EU to improve capabilities of handling waste at home, but in the short-term we’re likely to see an increase in plastic sent to landfill and incineration. On a positive note, the EEA also said that these two short-term problems should trigger investments in capacities and systems to increase the rate of recycling.

Plastic bottles at landfill

Having to deal with our own waste should be beneficial

As a promoter of a circular economy these changes in China’s policy and import restrictions are music to our ears. A significant amount of potential value is lost once waste is shipped to another country or sent to landfill. Items such as old computers, mobile phones and televisions are often thrown away in mass numbers but they actually hold an incredible amount of value IF they are processed and recycled correctly.

Toner cartridges are no different, which is why we provide the UK’s largest, most successful toner cartridge recycling scheme. We want to prevent the harmful effects of plastic pollution by providing you with an incredibly simple way of disposing of your unwanted used cartridges.

If you have any questions about recycling or our service, please feel free to contact us.