Concerns over plastic exports despite growth in domestic recycling

The UK has increased its domestic recycling of plastic over the last two years, new data shows, but there are concerns over how the UK is currently exporting the material. Here is what you need to know in four charts.

The data, issued by the Environment Agency under freedom of information laws, shows that since 2018, the UK has been steadily increasing the amount it recycles at home. It recycled 450,000 tonnes of plastic in 2019 compared with 385,000 in 2018 and more than double the 174,000 tonnes recorded in 2010.

The figures tally with comments made by chief executive of Biffa Michael Topham who told ENDS his company would invest significantly in plastics recycling in the coming years.

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