Exports of recycling worth £3.9bn to UK trade balance

trade balance

A new report from Defra has shown that the value of exported recyclate makes a direct net positive contribution to the UK trade balance of £3.9bn. The report, 'Resource Management: a catalyst for growth and productivity', examined the recent and future contribution to wider growth of extracting greater value from waste, increasing resource efficiency and increasing the export of goods and services. It noted that recovered material is often exported overseas to where it was first manufactured, and that the domestic reprocessing sector is not large enough to use up all materials recovered in the UK. The report cited paper, where 7.9m tonnes is consumed but only 4.6m tonnes manufactured, as a reason why material has to be exported. The Defra analysis also said that prices of materials have broadly recovered from the crash in 2008-09, though there are downward pressures in the short- to medium-term, particularly for plastic. Over the long term, global resource demand is expected to treble from 2000 to 2050.


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