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EPA denies report of huge increase in plastic waste imports from U.K.

2018/06/23 20:31:50

Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, June 23 (CNA) The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said Saturday that there is no truth to a recent media report that there has been a tenfold increase in Taiwan's imports of plastic waste from the United Kingdom this year.

The U.K. exported 14,700 tons of plastic trash to Taiwan in the period January to May, compared with 6,000 tons in the same period last year, according to the EPA.

It said the figure for the first five months of the year was 2.46 times that of the same period last year – not 10 times more, as reported in the Financial Times in London.

Lai Ying-ying (賴瑩瑩), the head of the EPA's Department of Waste Management, told CNA that the Financial Times had compared the highest monthly figure this year with the lowest from last year, instead of comparing two similar periods.

She said the increase in the volume of imported plastic waste from the U.K. was driven by lower international market prices.

With the drop in prices, it was only natural that Taiwanese buyers would want to import more plastic waste for recycling into raw materials for the manufacture of textiles, plastic bottles and trash cans, Lai said.

According to the EPA, Taiwan currently imports plastic waste mainly from Japan, the Philippines, the United States and the U.K.

(By Yang Su-min and Ko Lin)