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.” – Theresa Morsen, Waste & Resources Policy Officer at Zero Waste Europe

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

The recycling infrastructure in recipient countries in the Global South is overburdened with the volumes of waste exported from the Global North   Exporting Europe’s waste challenges to other countries is in grave misalignment with the ambition to build a circular economy in Europe and contradicts the principle of proximity enshrined in EU law. We are therefore calling for an end to waste exports from Europe. 

This approach should be complemented by strict rules for shipments happening within the European Union where illegal waste trade and dumping is still commonplace. Zero Waste Europe works on highlighting  the injustices of the waste trade while promoting real solutions to waste prevention and management at all levels – 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.