Greenpeace dumps rubbish outside Downing Street in plastic export protest

Greenpeace activists dump plastic waste by Downing Street

Greenpeace activists dumped half a tonne of household rubbish outside Downing Street as they called for a ban on the export of plastic waste.

The 625kg pile of rubbish was offloaded by a tipper truck outside the gates to the street on Tuesday morning, while an activist in a Spitting Image-style mask of the Prime Minister was also spotted.

The campaigners said the pile amounted to the same volume that the UK exports every 30 seconds.

Greenpeace dumps rubbish outside Downing Street in plastic export protestThe rubbish was dumped outside the Downing Street gates (David Mirzoeff/PA)

Nina Schrank, senior plastics campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “Our carefully washed and sorted plastic is sent overseas, the majority to countries with very low recycling rates, where it is being dumped and burned.

“We hope this pile of plastic helps the Government to not only visualise the huge volume of plastic waste we export, but also to understand what it feels like to have waste dumped on your doorstep.”

A report from Greenpeace earlier this year highlighted how UK plastic had been found dumped and burned across southern Turkey.

The campaign group said investigators documented piles of plastic waste dumped illegally by the roadside, in fields or spilling into waterways and floating downstream in 10 sites dotted around the Adana province.

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Greenpeace said plastic from the UK was found at all of these sites, with evidence of packaging and plastic bags from top UK supermarkets and retailers.

Turkey moved to ban imports of plastic waste earlier this year but it was reported over the weekend that the country had backtracked on the decision.

Greenpeace said Tuesday’s demonstration was inspired by Wasteminster, a viral campaign video created by the organisation in May that has been watched more than 10 million times on various social media platforms.