EU Bans Export of Plastic Waste to Poor Countries

European Union has announced that it completely ban exports of unsorted plastics to poor countries. As per the European Union, the new rules that will amend the bloc’s 2006 Waste Shipment Regulation will lead to a ban on exports to less industrialized nations outside the OECD.

Key Points

  • The decision of the EU comes after the ban by China on plastic imports in 2018.
  • As per the new rules, clean, non-hazardous waste exports can be sent to Non-OECD nations for recycling that too under strict conditions.
  • This is a part of the European Union’s Green Deal effort of establishing a circular economy.
  • Even inside the 37 nations of OECD, any EU exports of hazardous plastic will require prior authorization and permission from both the dispatching and recipient nation.
  • The new rules will be effective from January 1, 2021.
  • These rules will govern plastic shipments within the EU.
  • These rules have originated from a decision made in the May 2019 conference which binds most signatory nations of the 1989 Basel Convention.

Previous year the EU has exported 1.5 million tons of plastic waste, mostly to Asian countries like Indonesia and Malaysia and also to Turkey.

1989 Basel Convention

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal or Basel Convention is a treaty signed in 1989 for reducing the transfer of hazardous waste between nations particularly the transfer of hazardous waste from developed countries to less developed countries.  The European Union and 186 states are parties to the convention.