This news release only focuses on recyclable waste. Other waste is sent across the border as well, for example mineral waste and waste from the food industry. These waste flows are not included in this research.
The total amount of recyclable plastic waste exported to customers abroad in 2018 stood at 361 thousand tonnes, 6 percent down on the previous year. Exports of this type of waste have declined year-on-year since 2016.
The bulk of plastic waste is re-used domestically. In 2016, around 58 percent (683 thousand tonnes) of recyclable plastic waste was delivered to Dutch waste processing companies.
|China and Hong Kong||Other countries|
Less plastic waste sent to China, more to Germany
In 2018, over three-quarters of plastic waste were destined for a country within Europe. Germany was one of the most important destinations and recorded the strongest increase compared to 2010. Plastic waste exports to Asian countries (other than China) such as Indonesia and Vietnam rose during this period as well.
Last year, China (inclusive of Hong Kong in this news release) launched a campaign against environmentally harmful waste and already informed the World Trade Organization on this in mid-2017. This led to an import ban on 24 types of waste including car tyres, textiles, plastics and glass. Chinese imports of recyclable metals and paper contracted as well between 2010 and 2018, by 73 and 58 percent respectively.
|China (incl. Hong Kong)||10||195|
No decline in metal and textile waste exports
For most types of waste, exports were less substantial in 2018 than in 2010. Textiles and metals were an exception. Last year, the Netherlands exported 6,847 thousand tonnes of recyclable metal waste, 3 percent more than eight years previously. In the same period, exports of paper waste and plastic waste shrank by 25 and 11 percent respectively.
Export price of textile waste the highest
The highest yield comes from the export of textile waste, bringing in 83 eurocents per kilogram in 2018. The export price of metal waste stood at 60 eurocents per kilogram, while recyclable plastic was sold for 40 eurocents.