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Examination of Witnesses

Part of Environment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 10th March 2020.

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Rebecca Newsom:

I do not have a specific recommendation on a waste export ban date, but it is important to remember the big picture. Plastic production globally is set to quadruple, at the same time as a lot of countries across the world are due to enforce their own plastic waste export bans, coming from the UK. The only way to deal with the problem without causing a massive spike in incineration is to reduce how much plastic is used in the first place. That is why we have placed the emphasis on the reduction side of things. We need to emphasise the waste hierarchy. Reuse needs to be at the top of that, without emphasising as much on the recycling side because of course we need infrastructure there. But there is no way that the UK’s recycling infrastructure, even with a lot of extra investment, will be able to cope with the anticipated rise in production and with the waste export bans, so we need to turn the tap on the production at source.