Milton Keynes Council 'do not ship recycling sacks abroad' despite media reports

The Leader of Milton Keynes Council has said that Milton Keynes Council 'do not ship recycling sacks abroad' following a newspaper article stating that waste bags from our city had been found in a Malaysian jungle.

It follows a viral news article from a national newspaper which has already been shared and seen by hundreds of people within our city.

Cllr Peter Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes Council, said: "The report on MK Council sacks appearing in the jungle is very disturbing, but I can confirm that they have not been sent there through any MK Council process."

"All recycling sacks collected in Milton Keynes are opened and processed inside Milton Keynes. We do not export waste to Malaysia or any other country."

"The most likely cause is misuse of sacks by businesses that then use poor quality waste contractors, or people from outside MK using sacks in other areas. Misuse of sacks was a big reason we introduced an on-line ordering system, something the local Tories continue to oppose. Recycling levels in MK increased last year."

"All black-bag waste collected by Milton Keynes Council is processed in Wolverton and incinerated to turn into energy, and before that was sent to Bletchley landfill."

Milton Keynes Conservatives have called for a full enquiry, saying that "any sustainable system must have a transparent chain of custody to ensure that plastic is being recycled and not just shipped out and dumped in Malaysian jungles."

The Daily Mail reported on Saturday that 'deep in the Malaysian jungle', there are 20ft high stacks of plastic waste, much of which is from 'British supermarkets and council recycling departments'.

It continues to state that waste was found in Milton Keynes Council sacks as well as sacks from other local authorities.

The report also states that Milton Keynes Council did not respond to a request by the Daily Mail for comment.

Following a separate Sky News report last year that showed recycling from the UK was being shipped aboard, MKFM contacted Milton Keynes Council. 

We were told that the council did not ship any waste aboard but they did not rule out the possibility that a third party contractor had in the past after the rubbish had been sorted.

However, the recycling would not have been inside a Milton Keynes Council branded bag as all sorting is done inside the city.

One councillor told MKFM: "There are a few of us who have thought for some time there was more behind the reason why residents are now not not able to get easy access to recycling sacks."

"If residents now aren’t recycling as much then this reduces the issue and pushes the problem elsewhere. A full enquiry needs to take place."

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