EU waste plastics exports fall to 18-year low

Not since 2003 have EU member states exported so little plastic waste to countries outside the trading bloc as they did last year. According to Eurostat, exports to third countries totalled only 1.14 million tonnes in 2021. That is almost 30 per cent less than in the previous year. Compared to 2017, waste plastics exports from the EU have fallen by about half.

Initially, it was the tightening of Chinese import regulations that was responsible for the decline. China's broad ban on secondary raw materials imports resulted in a massive shift in the trade flows of plastic scrap....

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