European Parliament adopts ban of plastic waste to non-OECD countries



The European Parliament has voted for tougher rules to export waste from the block to countries outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a group of mostly rich countries.

Exports of non-hazardous plastic waste to non-OECD countries will be prohibited, whilst those to OECD countries will be subject to stricter conditions. The European Parliament and Council first reached a provisional agreement on the new rules in November 2023. The ban on export of plastics will start two and a half years after the regulation comes into force.

The new rules build on the provisions of the Basel Convention that already bans exports of hazardous waste from the EU to third countries. The European Council said in a statement that since the adoption of the regulation in 2006, exports from the EU to non-OECD countries have ‘increased considerably’. According to the Basel Action Network (BAN), EU plastic waste exports to non-OECD countries rose to 50 million kg/month in May 2023 from 28.1 million kg/month in May 2022, equivalent to 303 shipping containers per day.


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