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Calls for government to ‘take control’ of waste problem as Britain continues to dump refuse elsewhere

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners are calling on the government to “take control” of its waste problem after it was revealed Britain is continuing to dump its refuse on other countries.

Greenpeace’s Trashed report says that British plastic has been found dumped and burned across southern Turkey.

The organisation said that investigators documented piles of plastic waste dumped illegally by the roadside, in fields or spilling into waterways and floating downstream in 10 sites dotted around the Adana province.

Greenpeace said that plastic from Britain was found at all of these sites, with evidence of packaging and plastic bags from top supermarkets and retailers.

Packaging for a Covid-19 antigen test was found among bags of British plastic, indicating that the waste was less than a year old.

Greenpeace have said Britain must ban plastic waste exports and reduce single-use plastic by 50 per cent by 2025.

Greenpeace Mediterranean biodiversity projects lead Nihan Temiz Atas said: “As this new evidence shows, plastic waste coming from the UK to Turkey is an environmental threat, not an economic opportunity.

“Uncontrolled imports of plastic waste do nothing but increase the problems existing in Turkey’s own recycling system.

“Around 241 truckloads of plastic waste come to Turkey every day from across Europe and it overwhelms us.

“As far as we can see from the data and the field, we continue to be Europe’s largest plastic waste dump.”

A Defra spokeswoman said: “We are clear that the UK should handle more of its waste at home, and that’s why we are committed to banning the export of plastic waste to non-OECD countries and clamping down on illegal waste exports — including to countries such as Turkey — through tougher controls.”


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