Processed plastic waste from Wealden and the rest of Sussex can be sent as far afield as Turkey, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, Malaysia and the Philippines.
So says Cllr Claire Dowling, who represents Uckfield North, at East Sussex County Council.
Cllr Dowling, lead member for transport and environment, has given a written response to a question asked by Cllr Kathryn Field, Battle and Crowhurst: “What is the final destination of the county’s plastic which is collected for recycling?”
The answer appears in papers with an agenda for today’s full meeting of the county council.
Cllr Claire Dowling says:
Collection and disposal
“Waste collection and disposal arrangements across the county changed on June 29.
“In Hastings, Rother and Wealden a new collection contract with Biffa has commenced, whilst Eastbourne and Lewes councils have opted for an in-house collection service.
“Plastics, along with a wide range of other recyclable materials, are collected from East Sussex residents and are sent under new arrangements to the Viridor materials recovery facility in Crayford, Kent, under a new contract with the county council.
Dry mixed recyclable materials
“The dry mixed recyclable materials that are collected on our doorsteps are sorted at the Crayford plant into the various material streams, compacted and baled.
“Plastics are then sent to one of Viridor’s specialist plastic reprocessing plants in the UK to produce plastic pellets and flakes.
“This end product is then sold as a raw material that is used both in the UK and overseas in the manufacture of new products. Plastic sacks, shopping bags and film are reprocessed in the UK.
“The resource market remains a global market, governed by the principles of supply and demand and, where any material is sent abroad, Viridor only works with Environment Agency accredited and licensed facilities.
“Material is sold as an “end-of-waste product” or raw material for reuse in manufacturing. Viridor has a robust system of traceability across its supply chain and receives accreditation from the companies it works with, demonstrating reprocessing has taken place.
“Countries outside of the EU to which ‘end of waste’ plastic product has been and is sent to are Turkey, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, Malaysia and the Philippines.”
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