Latvian Government Returning 600 Tonnes of Illegally Imported Plastic Waste to the UK Posted on June 19, 2020 (September 1, 2020) by admin The Environment Agency has told ENDS Report, that they are currently working with Latvian authorities to investigate the circumstances of exports that resulted in almost 600 tonnes of plastic and rubber waste being illegally imported into Latvia, by a company called ‘Why Recycle’. According to media reports, the Latvian Environmental Service (VVD) released that it had found shipments of plastic and rubber waste had been illegally imported from the UK into Latvia between 25th May and 16th June, without obtaining prior consent. Permitting Disruption is ‘Inevitable’ The EA has made a statement saying that disruption to its permitting services is “inevitable” in these unprecedented times. The statement made by the regulator on 19th June mentioned that during the pandemic, its permitting staff have been working from home and have been receiving over 700 applications each month. In the statement, the EA said: “We are taking slightly longer than normal to determine permit applications in some of our permitting sectors, but are continuing to adapt our working to reduce these wherever we can and as quickly as possible.” Recycling Services Increase as Food Waste Drops Despite more and more councils reporting that fully operational recycling services are resuming, after a few weeks of major disruption, the number of food waste services reporting normal operation have dropped drastically by 12%, from last weeks figure of 84%, down to 72%. Councils reported that 75% of recycling collections are operating as normal, up 5% from last week’s figure of 70%. This is the first increase in operational function after two weeks of disruption where the figures fell from 81% down to 75% on June 1st, and then to 70% last week. Garden waste collections have also been improving across the UK with 80% of councils reporting normal service this week, an increase of 8% since last week. View the full article and charts of collection services here.