DOUBLING waste exports to developing countries is the only way the UK will be able to meet waste recycling targets, a conference has been warned.
National targets for recycling household rubbish - currently 25% - are set to increase to 40% by 2010 and 50% by 2020.
But the UK hasn't set up the infrastructure to deal with it.
Recycling experts claim the only option for the UK is to almost double the amount of waste it ships to developing countries such as India and China.
Currently, the annual UK consumption of paper and board recyclables is 12.5m tonnes - 38% (4.8m tonnes) is recovered and 20% (2.5m tonnes) goes to developing countries.
Professor Adam Read, head of waste management at Hyder Consulting, said: "Continuing export is vital for the UK to meet its statutory recycling targets.
"Unless we invest heavily and quickly in the development of new paper mills and other reprocessing facilities, we will be faced by a glut of recyclables collected from the kerbside and nowhere to treat and process it."