An industry association in Germany has said that plastic waste exported to other countries from Germany dropped significantly in 2021, due in part to tougher import restrictions and pandemic-disrupted supply chains.

According to the DPA, the BDE federation of the German Waste, Water and Raw Materials Management Industry said that last year, around 697,000 tons of plastic waste were exported, a third less than in 2020.

This number includes plastic for industrial uses, plastic as a production by-product, and food packaging.

Plastic waste is considered a raw material. If properly recycled, it can be used in new products, such as polyester clothing and refuse bags.

Waste exports from wealthy parts of the world are controversial, and there are frequent accusations of garbage being illegally dumped in developing countries.

Asian countries in particular have become more restrictive when it comes to allowing imports, citing environmental concerns.

The BDE also named increasing domestic demand for recyclable plastic and logistical issues related to the coronavirus as reasons for the decline in 2021.

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