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Plastic waste exports scrutinised by EFRA Committee MPs

17 March 2022

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee is holding an evidence session in its inquiry into plastic waste at 2:30pm in Committee Room 6 of the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday March 22.

Three panels of witnesses will discuss the export of plastic waste and how the Government can ensure plastic waste is not exported and then managed unsustainably.

Government trade data shows the UK exported 0.54 million tonnes of plastic waste in 2020. It is estimated that every 30 seconds, one person dies from diseases caused by mismanaged waste, according to relief and development agency Tearfund.

The first panel will hear evidence from Greenpeace Mediterranean regarding the impact of mismanaged plastic waste exports in Turkey. Following the discovery that plastic waste from Britain had been dumped and burned by the roadside in one of Turkey’s most populous provinces, Greenpeace released a report detailing the toxic chemicals now present in the soil there. MPs are likely to discuss the potential impact of these chemicals on people, wildlife and the environment.

In the second panel, representatives from the waste management sector will give evidence on the current state of UK plastic waste exports alongside Greenpeace UK. The Committee is likely to discuss how plastic waste exports are regulated, how the rules are enforced and whether there should be a ban on plastic waste exports.

A third panel of experts will give evidence about international initiatives to tackle plastic pollution and the role the UK Government can play in these negotiations. The panel will also discuss how future free trade agreements may have an impact on plastic waste.


The witnesses will be:

At 2:30pm:

  • Nihan Temiz AtaƟ – Biodiversity Project Lead, Greenpeace Mediterranean

At 2:45pm:

  • Megan Randles – Political Campaigner, Greenpeace UK
  • Dr Tim Rotheray –  Director of ESG and External Affairs, Viridor
  • Jacob Hayler – Executive Director, Environmental Services Association

At 3:45pm:

  • Dr Carolyn Deere Birkbeck – Director, Forum on Trade, Environment and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • George Riddell – Director of Trade Strategy, Ernst & Young LLP

Further information

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