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Dirty Business: what really happens to your recycling

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Thousands of tons of plastic scrap collected for recycling from British households have been transported and dumped on sites across the world. We follow the trail of the UK's plastic waste through the country and around the world. Can Britain cope as the largest importer of our recycling shuts the door? SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more videos: http://www.youtube.com/skynews Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/skynews and https://twitter.com/skynewsbreak Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skynews For more content go to http://news.sky.com and download our apps: iPad https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/Sky-News-for-iPad/id422583124 iPhone https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/sky-news/id316391924?mt=8 Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bskyb.skynews.android&hl=en_GB
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Text Comments (414)
Christopher Wilcox (12 hours ago)
This is true in the U.S. as well. Plastic waste is a cost of oil that is not reflected in the price. Govt. needs to tax oil to make plastic packaging more expensive. Cooperate use would plummet.
Tabula Rasa (1 day ago)
OVERPOPULATION.....reduce human numbers and ALL these man-made problems VANISH. Anything less is a temporary fix, and wasted effort.
kennyw (1 day ago)
I think there's little doubt that countries need to recycle their own plastic, glass and paper products. If China can do, other countries can too once they commit to doing it.
Melanie Le Roux (2 days ago)
We need to stop buying junk! Stop the consumerism. Buy only the basic necessary items.
Mark Donoghue (2 days ago)
Proper investigative journalism wish sky news would do more of this instead of banging on about brexit every day But this was a good piece on recycling industry
Robert Longo (3 days ago)
The subsidy is the issue. Just put the stuff underground, and when we run out of natural resources, dig up the landfills.
Jamie Wright (5 days ago)
Man your a dum English bloke
124 Spider (5 days ago)
So lets only put 2% into recycle bins. At least we know that might get recycled? I feel we are all conned! The far leftists and greens Cry foul over polution on global warming. Yet THEY will never give give up all the compfort's that cause this polution. Hypocrites! 👎🇦🇺🇦🇺
Paul Jackson (6 days ago)
We have to deal with our own waste,have to make it commercially viable to make it in to other products.
WTF PRODUCTIONS (6 days ago)
where in poland was the plastic dumped?
I'm dishearten.
C.A. Barstow (8 days ago)
The Dutch recycling process is also a joke.
Barbara Aglago (20 hours ago)
How? Please be specific.
COLIN HUME (8 days ago)
Why not recycle them into giant lego bricks that could be filled (and emptied) with water, sand or mud. Then they could be used to build stuff. desert dwellings, jungle houses, temporary homes in disaster area, I think the list is endless. If they get damaged they can just be recycled again. Yeah! what a stupid idea
Paddy Whack (9 days ago)
As an American, I have no problem with China refusing 'dirty' garbage, medical waste, personal hygiene products/residues, etc etc etc. I'd like to see our much-vaunted tech capability to come up with solutions: so many things can be recycled, especially plastic, making long-lasting products like plastic floating docks/piers for harbors on lakes, rivers and seas. Plastic's durability and longevity are a problem AND a solution. In essence, "Let's clean our own toilets first before/instead of asking a wage-slave to clean up after us... personal responsibility and all that, the iconic 'conservative' appeal to each of us that really should be, and is, 'above' politics. There's money in plastic: mine it!!
Benny Mack (10 days ago)
mark Sharpe (11 days ago)
fraud by exporters, putting the PRN money in there pockets..........now that has screwed everyone and the British government thing everything is just fine the way it is, so how many of the British government fine people are on the take, show me the money......
ted william (11 days ago)
The majority of plastic is reconvertable back to oil, diesel and other petroleum components via pyrolisis. And once its running can run off its own product. The undesirable waste residue is much easier to deal with than millions of tons of bulk. And the pet is reuse/recyclable for all kinds of much more useful stuff than one time use items
Michael G (11 days ago)
Nasa instead of sitting on their butt's should come with a solution before we won't have a Planet and Politics are playing a Big Roll recycling is a Money making Scam and the whole World shouldn't just talk about it since the 1970's if they have to go back to Paper bags and Glass bottles let's do it before it gets to our front Door I think the Plastic Makers are shoving Dollars into Politicians to fix it the World has to Protest in front of Plastic Factories like they Protest for any kind of BS that comes to their Minds and that's the truth and Fk China is not their problem why India ,China, and the far East gotta take People's Garbage the World has to stop it at its source the making of Plastic.
SpringRoll Wang (12 days ago)
is this the origin story of wall-e or idocracy?
ThirdEyeTrader (12 days ago)
2:20...... Here is the problem...people like this WHO BUY the plastic in the first place...........and until companies sell there mostly poison products in containers other than plastic were are screwed....But purchasing these products is a choice............make a better choice. we have F upped this planet beyond repair
Alistair Rock (14 days ago)
ive seen the argument on other documentaries that we should recycle our own waste. This is not the issue. for example, should we make all our own products? no we have poorer countries do the labour. This is the same buisness model for recycling, the problem is the corruption and poor ethics in the buisnesses that collect sort and sell the rubbish and equally poor ethics with the buisness on the other end that buy this waste and then do nothing with it. If these countries did their jobs properly and actually recycled the plastics rather than dumping then or where stricter about what they accepted (which they finally have started to do). They need stricter policies, govern the rubbish we send them, make sure we arent takng the piss with what we send them and govern how they dispose of it, making sure it is done. Also why do we the consumers get footed with all the guilt for the crimes of big buisness, put the guilt on the manufacturers that refuse to adopt other forms of less environmetally harmful packaging and the criminal enterprises that dont sort their wastes before export/import and the crooks that then dump the rubbish.
Hopefull Sinner (15 days ago)
8.24 Rats!
Not Dave (17 days ago)
Humanity is corrupt. It always has been. It always will be.
MARUBA SILAEN (19 days ago)
Pat Cavanaugh (19 days ago)
We, the people do our best to follow the recycling rules, but it looks like the local politicians are lining their pockets and not paying for the proper recycling of our plastic, metal, glass, and paper. Money is being used to ship our trash to other countries...that is an abomination. I guess it's cheaper to pay for the shipping than it is to pay as many workers as it would take to sort and sanitize all of that trash. There are many who would welcome the chance to make a living at a recycling center, so they could pay for food, shelter and clothing for their families. But it only takes one or two truckers to handle the load and ship it out to undeveloped countries, which is the epitome of bullying by greedy lowlifes who have no respect for anyone or for our planet.
Pat Cavanaugh (19 days ago)
Whatever happened to the recycling process where they hire people to work at a recycling center, to sort and process everything, so that nothing is contaminated and is actually recycled, so it can be used by various companies... was that another lie?
Steve Smith (19 days ago)
I don’t recycle any plastic it’s not worth it
The Equaliser (19 days ago)
A world wide ban on drinks companies using plastic bottles which not only polute the planet but damage the immune systems of those who drink from them would be a start, implemented immediately.
Dan Jorgensen (22 days ago)
Worthless government officials,zero brain cells. The Exporters should be in jail polluting poor countries around the globe. Kudos to Sky Reporters for doing excellent work.
MyDearKyoKun (23 days ago)
God, that was a depressing truth. At least the soundtrack is splendid. Wonder what the state of recycling is in my own country...
WAIT...❗ 25 year plan❓❓❓ A plan is needed for NOW, not next year or next month, now ❗ Imagine the number of jobs that could be created.
event71 assist (24 days ago)
Proper recycling attitude should be learned from family.
Michael Rada (24 days ago)
contact me, I do prevent waste happen, this is solution
Mark Yaske (26 days ago)
Watch, (60 Minutes Australia) MOUNTAINS of Aussie plastic waste dumped in Malaysia. A real shocker of a video. Hundreds of illegal, secret factories in Malaysia alone. I always wondered what was inside those shipping containers on those ships.
jigar patel (26 days ago)
Serve every water and every soft drink in steel bottle and after having it give it back to the manufacturer ...PERIOD
E C (29 days ago)
First step in solving any problem, is recognizing there is one.
ndoro bei (29 days ago)
No recycle at all, only collecting and dumping to other countries, and finally find it way to the ocean.
Raul Garcia (1 month ago)
lets leave the problem as it is, it's time for human extinction, this planet is sick of us already
Solo Hands (1 month ago)
Humankind are genuinely governed by international *"mischievous"* fools/dimwits/halfwits/lowbrows/twits/smurfs/mongrels/rascals/rapscallions/the like of such archetypes to hold such power over humankind... sheds light on the incompetence and unintelligence within humankind!
Solo Hands (1 month ago)
*"Endocrine Disruption!"*
S. Gillespie (1 month ago)
I don't get it! Tweek the freakin' law!!!!!!!!!! What's so mind challenging about that?
j51 (8 days ago)
Here in USA politicians on both sides don’t want to anger their big corporate donors.
Smilester (1 month ago)
They should separate those plastic bottles and shred them instead of mixing them with all types of trash.
Dawn Bolton (1 month ago)
Easy solution. Band all plastic! Why are we so stupid about this?
Carlos Spicyweiner (1 month ago)
capitalism! ... and some say this is the best invention known to man. I call bullshit.
Sigurd Zidi Penpal (1 month ago)
*So...no one is going to talk about the GIANT RATS?*
like a rock (1 month ago)
A very simple solution ,world wide, GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS.
Dennis Cambly (1 month ago)
Correction: China imposed the ban on plastic waste after the orange faced idiot in Washington imposed sanctions on China. Get the facts right before producing a film blaming China. Other countries including Canada, United States now dump waste into landfills as a result of the tariffs and sanctions.
Jim B (1 month ago)
This is truly disgraceful. Excelent reporting Sky. Shipping waste abroad is a ludricrous concept and obviously open to abuse. From day one we should have invested here, provide incentives to build the infrastructure which in turn provides increased employment. More jobs means more tax to go towards paying for the solution.....not rocket science. Which competent political party will step up to address this?
leslie saunders (1 month ago)
What's wrong with burning plastic waste? More CO2 means more green growth. A win-win.
dylon (1 month ago)
It's not "can and can't be , it's will and won't be recycled. Unless there's profit for local authorities and business then it wont be. We live in a world that should be renamed WALL-E.
Mainul Hassan (1 month ago)
Recently a legendary invention has been done by Bangladeshi scientist. The product is biodegradable poly film. It is not plastic film. It is looked like poly plastic but not plastic. The product is made from renewable material. It is 100% water soluble, 100% biodegradable, 100% degradable in ocean, 100% home compostable, 100% degradable in soil, 100% recyclable for many many times, no green house gas or methane gas will be produced when it will be degraded with soil. Rather when it will degraded with soil; it produces natural fertilizer which increases the fertility of land. It is eatable for animals/ocean animals/birds. Because animal stomach enzyme is capable to digest it. This bio film is stronger than any other biodegradable film/ fossil plastic/petro plastic. It is made from cellulose. Not made from starch. It is more cheap than any other starch base bio film in price and cheap like poly plastic. If the whole world use it; our ocean will be safe.
Alessandra Ponticelli (1 month ago)
chris wilkins (1 month ago)
A tory comes up with a idea that businesses exploit nothing new there then probably owns half of the exporters.
Deano Moore (1 month ago)
This means Government and companies need to take recycling more seriously. This is a joke people keep saying why everyone country's foundation are falling apart will we have the answer's recycling trash is a low costed resources that can be used to builded roads, buildings, new technology. World industry need to modernize to make money of a low costed resources right now 🏂
Eu Mesmo (1 month ago)
trashy thing... both plastic and the video... especially the comments! It is business as always! If anyone really wanted to take care of the problem (=interfere in the business... and recycling is BIG business) the way to go is hitting where it hurts... money!!! Try to make all the chinese trash (and include all the trash manufacture that western companies produce in Asia) junk flooding the west being charged for the environmental damages resulting from the (criminal) way that they are produced... and you´ll have a HUGE reaction! This is business! Asian manufacturing countries (especially China) and a large bunch of western rich lads have been profiting hugely at the expenses of the rest of the world. Yes... the western working average lad is, in fact, sponsoring all of this. the world is flooded with junk because they are produced with very few or NO concerns at at all in regards to pollution or recycling (especially Asian and in particular, china). That is the elephant in the middle of the room!!! Not this roll of stupid and fake "pseudo-concerns" that are pointed here... it is not "seeing if Thailand can cope with what china has rejected"! How can this lad call himself a journalist???
Eu Mesmo (1 month ago)
martine. mjt (1 month ago)
like anything governemental. it looks good on paper but it s total b.s. they shuld throw the bales of plastic in volcanoes, it would blend with the lava. not worst than the plastic in the ocean. some claim to be able to turn plastic to oil, why are we not doing that locally,instead of having garbage cruise our oceans. it s total insanity.
B5429671 XJ (1 month ago)
The plastic should be burned for power in the country it was thrown out in or turned into fuel.
MrSocialchange (1 month ago)
Dustin Watson (1 month ago)
I bought a doobie at the store and it was in two plastic containers inside a cardboard container... can't I just get a doob like I used to from the guy down the street
Vaclav Haval (1 month ago)
95% hand-wringing, 5% useful information.
Roy Tonkin (1 month ago)
And whos to blame for this ?
SpringRoll Wang (12 days ago)
Mexicon, oh no... China or North Korea.
sarnobat2000 (1 month ago)
I wonder how similar the problems in the US are. There would appear to be some structural differences.
LeShaun Jenkins (1 month ago)
Put in a volcano..
Naga Rajuladevi (1 month ago)
LeShaun Jenkins no bad idea . Do u have education? R u dumb. It will make the volcano blow up more and cause harmful gas that will suck all the oxygen and the end.
the Unrepentant (1 month ago)
Badly needed is a *central recycling facility* in each region, located, say, 50 miles from the nearest habitation, to which both railway and highway access has been cut to a township of land with an adjacent township held in reserve. It should include a runway for smaller aircraft. This facility must be capable of handling _everything_ that is shipped to it. Our current effort creates an illusion of material being reused, but only a very tiny percentage of the material placed in recycling bins actually gets recycled. People would be shocked to learn that the end result of their effort is that most of the contents of these bins ends up in landfill anyway. Some is shipped to third world countries where it meets a similar fate. One approach that has been tried with limited success in some states is to cook garbage with steam under pressure turning it into usable petroleum products, but that is not a viable solution. Dismantling and sorting are not cost efficient. *The most effective process is to grind up garbage* and turn it into a slurry with water. That includes household refuse, electronics, appliances, bottles, cans and everything else that is discarded with no need to separate items. Bottom dumping railway cars that release their load directly into a grinder are ideal. Separating metals and other materials from slurry is a well-established industrial process. Different kinds of plastics mixed together might be a useful constituent of paving material. Water is extracted from the remaining solids that are largely organic, then the solids are compressed into large blocks, stacked and stored and perhaps used as fuel for a drier and to drive a generator. Wood waste from logging operations might be added to the garbage in order to achieve an ideal mix for combustion. Utilizing this material is better than discarding garbage in landfill. Creating a central recycling facility likely means locating it on what is now forestland or parkland. Simplified disposal eliminates littering. Halting use of the land resource does not put an end to littering nor does it prevent nature from following its usual course of cleansing by fire to make way for new growth. We need to utilize the land resource proportionate to the requirements of a growing population. It cannot all be protected land that we sit back and admire until it leads to our demise.
L Heise (1 month ago)
why can’t we save large plastic items , stock them at our landfills, and ship them back to the manufacturer, once one truckload of 24 pallets is full. I.e. seventh generation products, large bins of yogurt, gallon milk containers, etc. Go back to processing plants, to. Be cleaned and used for packaging. Whichever is most economical.
Zawlwin Moe (1 month ago)
Watching this video with wooden cup(whiskey)😁😁😁
Melanie Le Roux (2 days ago)
Oh no... that's a tree!
mistermayonaise (1 month ago)
So,people have to be more aware in what is plastic to use again, and plastics that needs to been trown in the garbage bin.Eduction is needed.Or,if present,on the product is a triangel with inside a number..Going from 1 to 7..Only remember number 3.number 6 and number 7..These are made by pvc and are not safe plastics...Or we do it ourselves,recycling,or we ship it abroad with the usable again plastics. Trowing paper,cardboard , thin can's and glass in the same container is something that is deliberatly.Give those, who pick up these containers, the right to fine the owner, separating goods in the right way on top of that..With also a education coming their way.They can spot them from a mile,they know who is doing such.Also,this means that the bill ,paid every year to collect our garbage ,will be much higher.Something people don't want to happen.It's the only option though..The polluter pays..And that's also us.As long as we don't change,nothing will change. With implementing not likeable things ,the demand for structural solutions will be much stronger.A real recycling and a ban on wrong plastics..Don't forget,the grants, businesses receive ,to ship it abroad,are paid by tax-payers money..That is us..Better to keep such inland..And perhaps,when everything works as it should work,higher bills are no longer needed.It brings in money as well..A total recycling industry that works is a moneymaker..And we are intitled to receive something from it.
Humble Pie (1 month ago)
Rule of recycling is clear and straightforward. Recycling is a business activity, not charity. If your plastics don't have recyclability value, no one will recycle them! Hence, all packaging producers need to focus on these recyclability facts.
Joe D (1 month ago)
I am amazed that were still doing out of site out of mind. I thought this went away with the 80's
johnny6148 (1 month ago)
bill nestle for waste plastics when paper could be used fro many products
johnny6148 (1 month ago)
so many products could be stores in paper.paper is strong when mfg. right. the yogurt co. are especially in need of change are the yogurts with the 4 oz. containers. days of convenience are over.
Philip Dawes (1 month ago)
P.S. The UK government's so-called 25 year plan failed to address the *_criminal_* exploitation by exporters of shipping plastic rubbish overseas. In other words, and as usual, the government says "f*** y**, our rubbish business is working quite profitably for us."
Philip Dawes (1 month ago)
It is sheer bull when the guy at 23:45 minutes said, "we have nowhere to put the plastic or process it." The technology has already been proven and demonstrated that all plastic can be converted into its original source - oil, in special autoclaves that heat the plastic and converting it into oil, which can then be used in all manner of industries. It's the old story - send it elsewhere!
Maximus Hikewright (1 month ago)
Georgina is a fox
The English Shell Game. Guess which country (fist) the trash is in. Sad. I'll bet we do the same on a greater scale, since we're (USA) bigger.
Pieter Vrugteveen (1 month ago)
this video is fairly accurate as to where the material is going. although I know Vietnam is also taking quite a bit of plastic scrap material.
Australia sends to Malaysia, where illegal dumping takes place. Malays are now protesting. Take care of your own waste.
West Komer (1 month ago)
Just stop with the consumers plastic. It is not necessarily or needed.
alexander shekhtman (1 month ago)
One solution: Give the "recyclers" double credit to recycle at home. Give them zero credit if they take it abroad.
Barbara Aglago (20 hours ago)
I agree. However the sustainable way forward is paper bags and glass.
jaymorpheus11 (1 month ago)
alexander shekhtman Good idea, one of the few youtubers that think of solutions in here
alexander shekhtman (2 months ago)
I think it will be relatively cheap and moral, to find a way to build a cheap shuttle and send the garbage to the moon! We will never build cities on there anyway, get real.
jake jenning (2 months ago)
Mhhhh medical waste in my soda tasty ill stick with aluminum
Doublescoop BS (2 months ago)
Countries should recycle their own waste.
Chris Sanchez (2 months ago)
Saved the trees went to plastic...next will be lowering our carbon dioxide emissions...ist that what trees consume ??😳🙄
Pieter Vrugteveen (1 month ago)
Also it's problem, reaction, solution. Create problem create reaction create solution then recycle
BLOGAN BURGESS (2 months ago)
We all get blamed as individuals but as individuals we pay our taxes so that this rubbish is disposed of in a safe manner. Governments however show no interest in forcing often privatised waste disposal companies to deal with this properly but are happy to collect the tax!
Simpson Luke (2 months ago)
Oh, the creative mankind is creating hells for themselves.
Phil Spaces (2 months ago)
so let me get this straight, the PRN is counted only when the waste is kept in the country?
Damon Champion (2 months ago)
Charge the manufacturers of the plastic to build recycling plants in the 🇬🇧 and use less
Pieter Vrugteveen (1 month ago)
that my friend is called 'grandfathering' and is something that is being looked at with real thought by many people.
Decipher Code (2 months ago)
Humans are ruining the planet on their own, eventually the Earth will become too polluted for anything to survive.
Kedellimited (2 months ago)
Recycling it into Timber, Decking, Fencing, Outdoor Furniture, Tables, Cladding and more has worked for us and our customers for years now! Because they're made from plastic waste, the material doesn't require any maintenance and it never rots! How can the government be so blind to such a great opportunity to support and improve British manufacturing and the recycling infrastructure?
iVlogBuzz (2 months ago)
Who pays for the gallons of water from washing the cartons?
Melanie Le Roux (2 days ago)
iVlogBuzz (2 months ago)
I'd like a refund on the increases on my council tax and when we were conned into buying diesel cars!
Robert Jackson (2 months ago)
They built siding plant that used recycle plastic at satsop WA. Early 2000's then plastic price advanced to China no more market.
Play Geetar (2 months ago)
recycling plants must be made better and more profitable, and cheaper for customer.
El Capitano (2 months ago)
Fk uk
Solveig Sokcanic (2 months ago)
great video exposing the TRUTH !!! Many countries that shipped their waste to china , now not wanted by china , are just dumping their waste in landfill !
?? (2 months ago)
What about a 30% assumption on exported waste. Clearly that’s probably too generous, but it will possibly create more industry to recycle here as a secondary effect.
760fbg (2 months ago)
UK should build some Waste-to-energy plant
Paul Wilson (2 months ago)
We in Britain should be ashamed sending the crap we sent to China get rid of our own
Theresa Carter (2 months ago)
Let's stop plastic pollution at the source with our retailers. Target has over 1800 stores and hands out over one billion plastic bags each year. These bags never go away.  Please sign and share this petition to Target to Stop Filling the World with Plastic Bags! www.change.org/TargetPlasticBags
FoxyKing93 ® (2 months ago)
This is why EU needs third world countries like Poland.

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