Author : CHAO GUO
University of Sheffield
Much of the UK’s waste is shipped to China and India to be reclaimed. Is this the best way to treat waste? What are the alternatives?
Waste recycling has been a very popular topic over the last decade. The purpose of recycling is to make used materials reusable. There are an increasing number of products produced by recycled materials which has shown that consumers and manufactures are becoming more aware of the benefits that recycling could bring us. However, some people may argue that there are better ways to manage waste such as waste prevention, in which case will reduce the amount of waste produced beforehand as the less produced the fewer needed to be dealt with. In this essay we will be looking at different strategies of dealing with waste and their efficiency, as well as the influences associated with rubbish dumping. Having studied this article we will be able to understand the importance of waste management thoroughly.
It is generally agreed that dumping rubbish overseas is cost-effective and beneficial for UK’s environment, however, there have been many negative impacts raised as the result of rubbish dumping. First of all, from the environmental point of view there are potential risks to the environment in China since sending rubbish to be recycled by Chinese companies. This is largely due to there are very few good factories and the majority of the companies buying waste from the UK are usually small firms, in which case they would take little responsibility towards environmental protection. According to government’s figure which was reported by The Guardian that “exports to China are running at 200,000 tonne of plastic rubbish and 500,000 tonne of paper and cardboard a year” (John Vidal, 2004: The Guardian). Reprocessing such a huge amount of waste could create an enormous amount of carbon dioxide and many other toxic gasses and liquid, which would heavily damage...
References: Vidal, J. (2004). The UK’s new rubbish dump: China. The Guardian Retrieved/accessed on 11th February, 2008,
Nowak, R (2007). Make landfill history. New Scientist
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Zerowaste.co.nz (2008). Facts and Figures. Retrieved/accessed on 13th February, 2008,
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