Home Europe EUROPEAN UNION’S BAN ON SHIPPING OF PLASTIC WASTE

EUROPEAN UNION’S BAN ON SHIPPING OF PLASTIC WASTE

The EU, from January 1 has banned all non-recyclable plastic waste that was earlier being shipped to the developing countries. The waste that was being sent was generally not treated well, a lot of it being put in landfills, the ocean, or the incinerator as these countries do not have the resources to sustainably treat the waste. 

Under the new rules that will be implemented from January, only the ‘clean plastic waste’ that can be easily recycled can be exported to non-Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Adding to that, stricter measures have been implemented on the rules of exports of plastic waste going from EU to non- Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Annually, the EU generates approx. 25 million tonnes of plastic waste, out of which only thirty percent gets recycled properly. The beach litter around the world contributes to around 85%. 

The Commissioner for Environment, Ocean, and Fisheries, Sinkevičius. stated that the new rules send out a clear message of the EU taking responsibility for the plastic waste they generate. This marks a milestone to fight plastic waste and a transition to a circular economy. This is also an attempt to achieve the European Green Deal. 

This move aims to restrict waste exports, contributing to the EU plastic strategy. This aims to reduce plastic usage and encourages recycling across the continent. The new plastic strategy aims to make all plastic packaging, recyclable by 2030, and reduce the consumption of single-use plastic. There would also be restrictions on the use of microplastics. 

After the Brexit, the policy changes will not include the United Kingdom. However, the Environment Bill at the beginning of 2020 contained similar rules. The proposed legislation to the parliament aims to reduce the developing countries from becoming a dumping ground. 

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