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Plastic waste on way back to France

Tonnes of plastic waste are being sent back to France after Malaysia, the world’s biggest importer, closed its doors.

26 June 2019
By Connexion journalist

It has started to return container-loads of plastic to the countries that sent it.

Malaysia said 3,000 tonnes would be returned to the US, UK, Japan, China, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Norway and France.

France  sent 700 tonnes of domestic plastic waste there last year.

Greenpeace said the top five waste exporters were the US, Japan, Germany, UK and Belgium. France is in 16th place.

Ecology Minister François de Rugy says he wants European waste recycled in Europe.

Some French cities are already acting. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo says she plans for the city to be plastic free by the 2024 Olympic Games.

Several shops in Alsace have brought back the consigne system, in which shoppers are given 21 centimes for every glass bottle they bring back.

Auchan store manager Hervé Buisson said more than 25,000 bottles per day are being washed and sterilised by machine.

Setting up the system is costly but it is cheaper in the long term, he said.

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