EU Reaches Deal To Stop Sending Waste To Countries That Can’t Process It

EU waste rubbish landfill

European Union lawmakers and member states have reached a deal to revise the bloc’s waste shipment regulation and end exports of certain types of waste to third countries unable to process it properly, the EU Parliament said on Friday.

“Exports of certain non-hazardous wastes and mixtures of non-hazardous wastes (…) will be allowed only to those non-OECD countries that consent and fulfil the criteria to treat such waste in an environmentally sound manner”, the Parliament said.

It added that compliance with international workers’ rights would also be taken into account.

The European Commission in 2021 proposed a revamp of EU rules on waste shipments to make it harder for member states to offload their trash into poorer countries.

“The EU will finally assume responsibility for its plastic waste by banning its export to non-OECD countries”, Danish lawmaker Pernille Weiss said in a statement.

EU countries must stop shipping plastic waste to poorer nations within two and a half years of the legislation coming into force, the Parliament said, adding that rules for plastic waste exports to countries inside the OECD – the group of the world’s main rich countries – will also be tightened.

In previous years, around half of the EU’s waste exports went to non-OECD countries with weaker waste management rules than in the EU – effectively shipping EU pollution abroad.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Mark Potter)

Tassilo Hummel
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