The plastics recycling industry is facing an investigation into suspected widespread abuse and fraud within the export system amid warnings the world is about to close the door on UK packaging waste, the Guardian has learned.
The Environment Agency (EA) has set up a team of investigators, including three retired police officers, in an attempt to deal with complaints that organised criminals and firms are abusing the system.
Six UK exporters of plastic waste have had their licences suspended or cancelled in the last three months, according to EA data. One firm has had 57 containers of plastic waste stopped at UK ports in the last three years due to concerns over contamination of waste.
Allegations that the agency is understood to be investigating include:
Exporters are falsely claiming for tens of millions of tonnes of plastic waste which might not exist
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