WILL RICH COUNTRIES STOP SENDING THEIR WASTE TO THE POOR?

The Dutch organization Plastic Soup Foundation called for a ban on the export of plastic waste to countries outside the EU. A report by this organization showed that last year the Netherlands was the largest EU exporter of plastic waste to countries that do not belong to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Exports doubled in 2021 compared to 2020.

The Netherlands is the world’s largest exporter to Indonesia in 2021. Out of a total of 200 million kg of plastic waste exported by the Netherlands, almost 70 million kg went to Indonesia and 64 million kg to Vietnam.

Globally, only Japan and the US exported more waste to the South, but per capita, the Netherlands is the world leader whose ships deliver more waste from rich countries to countries that cannot process it properly, the organization warns.

Poor countries cannot adequately process this waste

The export of waste to the poor countries of the South has been in focus since January 1, 2018, when China turned the world upside down by banning the import of plastic waste, so rich countries had to take the waste elsewhere. Since then, the trade has moved to vulnerable countries that lack the infrastructure to adequately process the waste, such as Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

In these countries, waste is inadequately managed, which is disposed of in landfills or burned, which releases harmful substances and microplastics that pollute fields and surface waters, affecting not only the environment, but also the health of the local community.

In addition to legal exports, there are also illegal ones, the extent of which can only be guessed. It is clear that it has increased since 2018 and is accompanied by criminal activities, which Interpol warned about two years ago, reminded the organization Plastic Soup Foundation, which believes that the export of plastic waste to countries outside the EU should be banned.

By the way, from January 1, 2021, the EU banned the export of plastic waste from the EU to countries that are not members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), except for clean plastic waste that is sent for recycling.

E2 portal (Circular economy)


Source: E2 Portal by www.e2.rs.

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