Amy Brooks, a doctoral student at the College of Engineering’s New Materials Institute, was quoted in China Daily about the United Kingdom’s plastic waste problem.
Currently, U.K. taxpayers pay to recycle plastic packaging, but the 1 billion pound ($1.27 billion) annual price tag skyrocketed when the option to ship waste to China was taken off the table. The government’s proposed new program is set to come into force in 2023, and enterprises creating waste will be legally bound to pay for its disposal or reprocessing.
“There is lots of uncertainty about what is going to be happening to this displaced waste,” said Brooks, the lead author of “Chinese Import Ban and its Impact on the Global Plastic Waste Trade,” a study that appeared in the journal Science Advances. “It could be sent to landfills, burned, buried or sent to other countries that do not necessarily have the infrastructure to manage it.”