Waste export ban supported by majority of British public

72% of respondents believe the country must do more to deal with its own waste, rather than shipping it overseas. 

garbage near forest

New research from efinium has revealed strong backing for tighter measures to reduce the export of waste to foreign incinerators, recycling and tips. 53% of people now want to see an outright ban in place, and 70% are asking the government to divert all waste away from landfill. 

The country currently exports more than 2million tonnes of waste to other countries, many in the developing world. Campaigners have long backed for greater investment in alternatives, and campaigns to bring down overall consumption, rather than simply paying other nations to deal with the problem. 

Worryingly, the Environment Agency’s own numbers show that in England waste exports are on the rise, with 9.5% over the year to date compared with 2022. Improvements to infrastructure including recycling plants is urgently needed, while energy from waste could save 200kg of CO2e for every tonne processed when compared with landfill. 

‘The UK has a waste problem. To fix it we need to consume less and reuse more, we must increase recycling rates, and we need to put that which is left over to good use here in the UK, not bury it in a hole in the ground or send it overseas,’ said Mike Maudsley, CEO of enfinium. ‘By diverting waste from climate-damaging landfill, and putting an end to waste exports, we can reduce our emissions while generating homegrown baseload energy. This is better for the environment and better for the UK.’

More on waste:

Plastic treaty talks show ‘zero ambition’ for protecting human health

80% of your Black Friday bargains will be binned

What Ofwat penalties for failing UK water suppliers tell us

Image: Antoine GIRET


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top