Imports hurting recycling industry

In 2014 Sweden imported 2.34 million tonnes of waste, some 90% of which was burnt according to preliminary figures from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket). This is a billion-kronor industry for the Swedish waste incineration plants, but the business has its critics too.

“We already burn far too much, and much of what we burn could be recycled instead. And still we continue to build new plants. It is quite remarkable,” says Britt Sahleström, head of the Swedish Recycling Industries’ Association (Återvinningsindustrierna).