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Your rubbish is being recycled in China

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 07:47 UK time, Monday, 3 December 2007 - Welsh councils 'sending waste to China'

Welsh councils are sending their waste to be recycled in the Far East and South America, says Plaid Cymru. The party has published data showing that Cardiff, Powys, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Pembrokeshire, Monmouthshire and Swansea are all sending some of their waste outside the EU.

So we take the time to save, sort and send our recyclables off for processing and then it gets shipped half way around the world. Does that seem environmentally friendly to you?

BBC News has more details and we published a report this summer from Flintshire Council explaining what happens after waste is collected from the kerbside.

But what none of the stories explain is why this is happening. Flintshire sends plastic film to China whilst Denbighshire sends plastic generally out there. Flintshire told us in September that it was having problems finding a company in the UK to process its soft plastics. I guess this is the result.

So where does the problem lie? It may take some time before private firms can find a way of turning all our rubbish into cash. In the meantime, Government put pressure on councils to hit targets on recycling - and so they send it wherever they can to get it processed.

Therefore, we in Wales send rubbish overseas, meanwhile English authorities send their rubbish to landfill in Wales and so the cycle continues.

Have you been following the BBC2 series, Earth: The Power of the Planet? Last night's programme about atmosphere showed the worrying effects on the planet caused by us pumping more greenhouse gases into the sky.

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