EU bans shipping unrecyclable plastic waste to developing nations

As of January 1, 2021, the European Union’s 27 member states can no longer ship non-recyclable plastic waste to developing nations. The new legislation is part of the European Green Deal and the bloc’s Circular Economy Action Plan. The move is in response to a conference held last year in which 187 countries agreed to implement plastic restrictions.

According to a European Commission statement, the changes to the bloc’s 2006 Waste Shipment Regulation will apply to intra-EU shipments, exports, and imports of plastic waste – with various shipments being subjected to a prior notification and consent procedure.

Much of the plastic sent isn’t being recycled and ends up in a landfill, incineration, or the ocean. The countries receiving the waste often can’t sustainably treat it. That’s why under the new rules, only recyclable plastic waste can be exported to non-OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. Read more…

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