SIR - Recent television programmes have revealed that the plastic that UK householders thought was going for recycling is being sent to Malaysia or Indonesia. Once there, instead of being recycled, it is either burnt in the open air to the detriment of the health of the local population, or it finishes up in enormous dumps from which it will eventually get washed into rivers and finishes up as microplastics in the sea. In view of the fact that Craven District Council has recently stated that household general waste is sent to Allerton Waste Recovery Park were it is incinerated to produce electricity, I have decided to put all my plastic into the general waste bin since I don't trust any council any more when they say that plastic is going to be recycled. Its better to use the stuff here to produce electricity than to dump it in countries on the other side of the world.

Keith Bradshaw



A spokesman for Craven District Council responded: "We would encourage our residents to firstly try to reduce or reuse their waste if possible, as this is the best way to protect the environment.

We also promote recycling in order to reduce the need to use more natural resources and decrease the need for more landfill and incineration.

We would like to reassure residents that there are considerable safeguards in place to ensure that recycling in Craven does not end up in the wrong place.

Recycling material in Craven is comingled and collected from residents’ blue bins. The material is then transferred to Halton East Transfer station, operated by Yorwaste, then loaded onto a bulker and transported to JB Recycling’s Material Recycling Facility Processing Plant in Hartlepool, where the material is sorted and separated, before being sent on to reprocessing facilities. These sorted materials are used to replace new materials in the production of new goods such as bags for life, plastic pop bottles, etc. which is much better for the environment.

Wherever possible, JB Recycling uses UK or European outlets; however, this is not always practical as markets rely on supply and demand and commodities are traded on a global scale. Three-quarters of JB Recycling’s output is recycled in UK and Europe with 25% recycled in the rest of world. JB Recycling does not currently supply any materials to Malaysia.

JB Recycling has considerable safeguards in place to prevent exported material ending up in landfill or illegally dumped.

Regardless of the country, JB Recycling has contracts in place with reputable key reprocessors. Every outlet has to provide a substantial amount of information including environmental permits. This information is verified by checking and cross referencing public registers maintained by the Environmental Agency. These are checked by Quality, Environment and Health and Safety departments for approval. Where the outlet is outside of the UK, JB only deals with reputable exporters with a valid brokers’ licence.

It should also be noted that recyclates are removed from the general household waste sent to Allerton Waste Recovery Park. Paper and cardboard, metals and plastics are removed during the mechanical treatment process. These recyclates are supplied to a number of UK based recycling centres. Amey, the contractor that manages Allerton Waste Recovery Park, undertakes due diligence to ensure that they have the appropriate permits in place, and confirming the end destination of the recyclate material."