AROUND two thirds of plastic waste in the UK is exported overseas for recycling, figures show.

But residents of Cheshire West and Chester can be assured that their council does not send abroad any of the plastic rubbish they put out for collection.

It comes after revelations that waste sent by Western countries to the likes of Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam for recycling often ends up in landfill, completely defeating the object.

One Chester resident lodged a Freedom of Information request to Cheshire West and Chester Council asking what the authority does with its plastic waste.

In response, Joanna Sellers, of environmental commissioning at the council, said: “All plastics are collected from the 55 litre grey recycling boxes and are placed into a compartment on the collection vehicle so that they do not become mixed with the other recyclable materials.

“The plastics are then taken to the depot where they are collated and baled, ready to be transported to a reprocessor in Shropshire to be recycled into other products.”

She then stressed: “None of our unsorted plastic material is sold abroad.”

Currently, plastic waste can be sold for recycling and much is exported overseas as the UK does not have the means to process it all.

However, it can only be recycled if the waste is of good quality and not contaminated with food waste.

The National Audit Office raised concerns about the standards of recycling overseas last year, reporting that the quality of plastic waste being exported might be to blame.

"There is a risk that some of it is not recycled under equivalent standards to the UK and is instead sent to landfill or contributes to pollution," it states.

Chester has been leading the drive to raise awareness of the damage plastics can do to the environment over recent years.

In December 2018, the city became the first in the North West and one of the first in the country to be awarded 'plastic-free' status.

It received the gong from marine conservation charity, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) in recognition of the work it has done to start reducing the impact of single-use plastic on the environment.