On 7th February, a blog post from DEFRA in the UK in the light of concerns that plastic waste exported abroad may end up being sent to landfill in the UK. This followed a US NGO, the Basel Action Network (BAN), releasing a report into electrical waste exports highlights the findings of an investigation in which GPS trackers were used to track the movement of electrical waste placed in recycling facilities in 10 countries. 5 out of the 39 tracking devices deployed in electrical waste items in the UK ended up in non-OECD countries – suspected to be illegally exported. DEFRA says inspectors have found that the companies were all small, low-risk enterprises exporting mixed-cargo within which could have been a small number of waste electrical items. Whilst playing down the risk, DEFRA does not obviously deny it. An Environment Agency spokesperson is quoted as saying that, in the last 3 years, inspections at ports across the country have seen a significant reduction in the volume of electrical waste attempted to be exported illegally, but hazardous waste exports still pose a serious risk and the EA will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those involved in illegal activity.
The Guardian article on the NGO report is at –
and the report is at –