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EU overhauls waste shipment regulations

March 27, 2024

The EU Council has approved a major update to waste shipment rules, aiming for a circular economy and tighter controls.

The EU Council has formally approved the comprehensive revision of the European Union’s waste shipment regulations. The overhaul aims to streamline the shipment procedures, enhance enforcement against illegal waste exports, and ensure waste is treated in an environmentally sound manner.

The revised regulation introduces stricter controls on the export of problematic waste outside the EU, particularly targeting non-OECD countries, which include a wide range of nations from various regions such as Africa (e.g., Nigeria, South Africa), Asia (e.g., India, China), Latin America and the Caribbean (e.g., Brazil, Argentina), the Middle East (e.g., Saudi Arabia, Iran), and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (e.g., Russia, Ukraine).

These countries are not members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international organisation that promotes policies to improve economic and social well-being worldwide. The regulation aims to ensure that waste shipments are only sent to destinations capable of managing them in an environmentally sound manner, reflecting the EU’s commitment to global environmental responsibility.

Additionally, the regulation enforces a ban on exporting hazardous waste to non-OECD countries and a new ban on exporting non-hazardous plastic waste to these nations. Subject to the European Commission’s approval, however, these countries may be allowed to import EU plastic waste if they can demonstrate high environmental standards in waste management.

The legislation symbolises the EU’s commitment to the Basel Convention’s principles, aiming to reduce waste’s global environmental impact. The regulation’s adoption marks a crucial step forward in the EU’s ambitious agenda for climate neutrality and a circular economy, setting a precedent for responsible global waste management practices.

It is set to be signed by the co-legislators, published in the Official Journal of the EU, and will enter into force shortly thereafter, heralding a new era of waste management in the EU.

Categories : World Focus

Tags : Basel Convention Controls EU Council OECD Rules Waste Shipments

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