Plastic pollution has become a major global disaster and as a result of our increased awareness of the crisis, we strive to reduce, reuse and of course recycle. We check if our plastic can be recycled, we wash it, carefully dispose of it… and that’s it, we’ve done our bit for the planet. Or have we?

When it was apparent that China was closing for business, the big UK recycling companies sent their delegates to the Far East to establish new markets including India, Malaysia and Vietnam. These countries have little or no environmental legislation in place to deal with substandard plastic and anything rejected has simply ended up in rivers, burnt in the open or landfilled.

The major problem on the financial side is there are no laws to force manufacturers to use a minimum percentage of recycled polymer, and cheap oil means plastic is produced in millions of tonnes a year.

What can you do to help?

Ask your council where your plastic goes and ask them to prove it from door to door and the final destination. If they can’t or won’t answer you, keep on asking.

Think about how you shop and reduce your plastic waste. Leave the packaging in the shop or change shops – they’ll soon get the message.

At DCW, we remain the only Zero to Landfill operator in the region to process waste for recycling, rather than sending it all to Energy from Waste plants for incineration.

If you’d like to learn more about how we manage and recycle waste at DCW, head to our website www.dcw.co.uk.