UK taxpayers to pay Poland to send trash back
Elbląg police and the UK Environment Agency said they were investigating where the junk came from.
The news comes after Malaysia announced it would return 42 shipping containers containing plastic waste in January, saying that it did not want to become “the garbage dump of the world”.
The Polish police detained a truck that entered the site while it was under surveillance and found it carried waste from England.
Transport documents “was made in such a way as to confuse law enforcement”, the Polish police said. Illegal import or export of waste is punishable by imprisonment from three months to five years under Polish law.
The Environment Agency stated: “The illegal export of waste is a crime and we will not hesitate to take action against those responsible with offenders facing either a two-year jail term and an unlimited fine.
“We are working with the Polish authorities to investigate the circumstances around these particular exports and will take appropriate action to hold those responsible for the exports to account, should there be any evidence of wrong-doing, and ensure any illegally exported waste is repatriated to the UK.”
The Elbląg authorities said 70 tonnes of the rubbish was already in transit back to the UK with another 150 tonnes expected to follow.
In early 2018 150 tonnes of rubbish was discovered at a landfill site in Bogaczewo, 100km from the Baltic port of Gdansk.
It contained cardboard drinks, aluminium foil, plastic caps and paper.
Two other containers with similar contents were stopped by police officers at Gdynia on the Baltic coast.
Another truck from the UK carrying more rubbish was stopped as it tried to enter the Bogaczewo site.
The global recycled plastics market is expected to be worth over €46 billion by 2025 with a 6.8-per-cent compound growth rate.
Bottling is set to remain dominant while the plastic film is likely to grow significantly, according to Research and Markets.
“The competitive scenario is very fragmented, with a large number of players competing in almost all segments,” the study said.
“The real competition of the recyclers is not among each other, but with the virgin polymer producers.”
The European Union has reported a growing momentum for more ambitious targets for plastics production, especially in packaging.
Should bottled water still be tolerated? Picture credit: Wikimedia