Plastic Pollution

The UK Keeps Sending Plastic Waste to Poor Countries, Defying Past Pledge – Global Citizen

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The UK is sending plastic waste to low- and middle-income countries despite a partial ban on the practice that went into effect across the EU on Jan. 1, according to the Guardian.

The EU-wide ban, which prevents shipments of plastic waste to countries outside of the Organization of Economic Cooperations and Development, was developed while the UK was still a part of the political bloc. The UK government had said that it wouldn’t backslide on environmental commitments after its departure from the EU, but the ongoing shipment of plastic waste shows that it’s already falling behind its peers. 

The country says that it will keep sending shipments of plastic waste to countries that had previously agreed to take it, claiming that countries can reject the arrangement at any time. Environmental advocates told the Guardian that the continuation of the practice shows that the UK isn’t yet serious about curbing its plastic waste. 

The UK has the second-highest per capita rate of plastic consumption in the world, but the country has failed to develop sufficient infrastructure for recycling and disposing of all this plastic. 

As plastic waste accumulates, particularly the hard-to-recycle kind, the country simply puts it into shipping containers and pays other countries to take