Waste Trade

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 shipment outside of the European Union.

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Mixed waste has, for many years, been shipped from countries in the Global North to the Global South for treatment. However, what has recently become clear is that this trade has 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, such practices are at odds with the European’s circular economy principles. As a result, we are calling for Europe’s waste to stay in Europe on the basis of the proximity principle. 

 

Zero Waste Europe will work to highlight the injustices of the waste trade, while promoting real solutions to waste management at the city level, through increased traceability, a shift to a circular economy, zero waste societies and waste prevention across Europe in general. 

Want to know more about our work on Waste Trade?

Here are a few related posts...

Library for Waste Trade

Library for Waste Trade

Waste Shipment Regulation revision

One third of reported plastic packaging recycling is actually shipped outside of the European Union! Exporting waste externalises the problem, placing the burden on other countries. The revision of the Waste Shipment Regulation offers an opportunity for change! Read our recommendations.

Available in English.

The Balearic Islands’ law for waste and polluted land

In January 2019, the Regional Government of the Balearic Islands approved a pioneering law on waste prevention that contained various measures and targets designed to solve the islands’ waste problem. Through a combination of measures on general waste generation and for specific streams, such as single-use plastics or food waste, the legislation offers a strong example of how to adopt a law that takes a comprehensive approach to the issue of pollution occuring from waste generation. Read more in our factsheet.

Available in English, Hungarian and Italian.

Flanders’ implementation plan for household waste and comparable industrial waste 2016-2022

In September 2016, the Flemish Government approved the implementation plan proposed by OVAM – the public waste agency – for the 2016-2020 period. The plan complements the previous one and aims at going beyond waste management to a focus on waste prevention and reuse through local reduction targets and a quota to be achieved by 2022. Read more in our factsheet.

Available in English, Hungarian and Italian.

France’s law for fighting food waste

In February 2016, France adopted a law on fighting food waste that meant supermarkets were forbidden to destroy unsold food products and were compelled to donate it instead. This law constituted the starting point of the fight against food waste through banning its destruction and facilitating donation. Since the adoption, its scope has been extended further, as defined through new decrees and laws. Read more in our factsheet.

Available in English, Hungarian and Italian.

NGOs response to the draft Commission Delegated Regulation on shipments of waste

We joined forces with the other organisations of the Basel Action Network to urge the European Commission to rectify its current trajectory by adopting provisions that offer the same level of
environmental protection as the Basel Convention, for intra-EU plastic waste trade.

Available in English

NGOs Response to informal call for comments on the Draft Commission Delegated Regulation to implement recent changes to the Basel Convention

We joined forces with the other organisations of the Basel Action Network – Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Environmental Investigation Agency, European Environmental Bureau –  to comment on the Delegated Regulation to transpose the Basel COP14 plastic waste amendments found in Decision 14/12 into the Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR) of the European Union.

Available in English

Feedback on the Inception impact assessment of Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR)

We joined forces with the European Environmental Bureau to provide our feedback on the inception impact assessment (IIA) of the WSR stressing the intention to stop exporting waste outside the EU and revisit existing rules.

Available in English

Changing trends in plastic waste trade: Plastic Waste shipments report

As plastic waste has grown so has the industry surrounding it. A large amount of plastic waste is exported to countries in the Global South. Our report looks at the issues arising from the global waste trade.

Available in: English