From 1 January 2021, the EU banned exports of contaminated and highly mixed plastic (known as Y48) waste to non-OECD* countries.
The aim of this ban on exports is classed as an important milestone in fighting plastic pollution and transitioning to a circular economy. It is estimated that over 200,000 tonnes of plastic waste are exported each year from England to non-OECD countries.
As the Brexit transition period has now come to an end, EU amendments no longer take effect in the UK and the UK itself has not introduced an outright ban on exports of Y48 to non-OECD countries. Defra confirmed the UK’s position in relation to this in their official press release HERE.
However, the UK has been a strong supporter of these restrictions and exports of Y48 from the UK to non-OECD countries are subject to the procedure of written notification and consent and can only be exported if the shipments have been approved by the regulator in both countries.
According to DEFRA, the government do not believe they need to consult on an intermediary ban on Y48 plastic waste, as the country is already committed to banning all plastics waste exports to non-OECD countries, pledging to go further than the EU on export bans.
If you have any further queries about the details of these restrictions, please contact our Policy Team on 01756 706577 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
* OECD stands for The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development which is an international organisation that works to build better policies for better lives. The OCED has 37 member countries across the globe which can be viewed HERE