The European Union is shipping a large amount of its waste across the world, generating negative environmental, social and economic impacts for receiving communities. That’s why we are calling for more stringent regulations on waste shipments from the European Union.” – Pierre Condamine, Waste Policy Officer at Zero Waste Europe

For many years, mixed waste has been shipped from countries in the Global North to the Global South for treatment. It is now clear that these activities have severe consequences for people and the planet.

With increasingly lackluster waste sorting coming from the Global North, it is no longer economically feasible for countries in the Global South to tackle this waste disposal & management. Moreover, irresponsibly managed waste has no place in the circular economy model put forward by the European Union. As a result, we are calling for Europe’s waste to stay in Europe on the basis of the proximity principle. 

This approach should be complemented by strict rules for shipments happening within the European Union where several mismanagements still happen. 

Zero Waste Europe works to highlight the injustices of the waste trade, while promoting real solutions to waste management at the city level – such as:

  • Stopping exports of waste outside of the European Union;
  • Efficiently managing waste within the Union through better regulation;
  • Promoting a zero waste society and waste prevention across Europe in general.