Europe Cracks Down On Illegal Waste Exports, Eases Intra-EU Trade



Frédéric Simon | Euractiv

The European Commission put forward new rules on Wednesday (17 November) to crack down on the illegal shipment of waste to foreign countries, while easing procedures to trade recycled materials within the EU’s borders.

The proposed rules, which still need approval from EU countries and the European parliament, are part of Brussels’ plan to reduce pollution and ensure that materials like plastic, textiles and metals are reused and recycled, rather than thrown away.

“The goal is to make the EU take greater responsibility for the waste it produces. That’s not the case today and that’s what needs to change,” said the EU environment policy chief Virginijus Sinkevičius.

“Just think about all that plastic litter that comes from bad waste management,” Sinkevičius said.

If approved, the new regulation will restrict waste exports to non-OECD countries, with shipments “only allowed if third countries are willing to receive certain wastes and are able to manage them sustainably,” the EU executive said.

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