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Europa

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EU Bans Exports of Waste Plastic to Poor Countries

The EU has struck a deal to stop ships of waste plastic landing in ports of poor countries.
European lawmakers and member states agreed on Friday to ban exports of plastic rubbish to countries outside the OECD group of mostly rich countries from the middle of 2026. The deal comes as diplomats meet in Nairobi, Kenya, to hammer out a global treaty on plastic pollution.
“The EU will finally assume responsibility for its plastic waste by banning its export to non-OECD countries,” said Pernille Weiss, a Danish member of the European parliament with the centre-right EPP group, who was in charge of the proposal. “Once again, we follow our vision that waste is a resource when it is properly managed, but should not in any case be causing harm to the environment or human health.”
The rules, which must be formally approved by the European Council and parliament before they come into force, set tighter controls on exports of plastic waste to rich countries and stop exports entirely to non-OECD countries. After five years, countries who then wish to import EU plastic waste can request the commission lift the ban for them if they prove they will treat it well.
Most plastic thrown away in Europe gets burned, and less than a third gets recycled. Campaigners have raised concerns that some plastic waste shipped abroad for recycling ends up in landfills and waterways.
Lauren Weir, a campaigner from the Environmental Investigation Agency, said: “Whilst this is an improvement to current obligations, the evidence of the harms and necessity for a full plastic waste ban are clear. This is a signal that the EU is finally beginning to take responsibility for its role in the global plastic pollution emergency.”
The rules mean some forms of non-plastic waste may still be shipped to non-OECD countries if they fulfil certain social and environmental criteria.
The law could also lead to an increase in waste shipped to OECD countries such as Turkey.
Sedat Gündoğdu, a microplastics researcher at Çukurova University in Turkey, said: “The ban of plastic waste exports to non-OECD countries is a significant decision. However, it is disappointing to not see a total export ban on shipments – and not even a ban on hazardous and mixed plastic waste – to Turkey, which is both the largest importer of plastic waste in the EU and an OECD member.”
He added: “We know from past practices that partial bans and ineffective content controls do not prevent the illegal circulation of plastic waste.”



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  • winnie nguru

    29 w

    This is welcome. People need to stop making money off poor countries . The effects are so dire

    2
    • Esther Wanjiku

      30 w

      A great move . Now let them cease production as well from their industries

      2
      • Gorffly mokua

        30 w

        Great! But let them also focus on this challenge from production industries.

        3
        • mercy nduta

          30 w

          Great! the poorest countries must be protected.

          4
          • Tabitha Kimani

            30 w

            This is great. Let them devise and invest in ways to deal with their waste. This will force them to embrace sustainability and innovate ways to become circular.

            3
            • We Don't Have Time

              30 w

              Dear Professor Aniebiet Inyang Ntui Your climate love has received over 50 agrees! We have reached out to European Union by email and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! To reach more people and increase the chance of a response, click the Share button above to share the review on your social accounts. For every new member that joins We Don't Have Time from your network, we will plant a tree and attribute it to you! /Adam, We Don't Have Time

              2
              • George Kariuki

                30 w

                This is a positive development, and I hope that other countries will follow the EU's lead and implement similar bans.

                3
                • Markus Lutteman

                  30 w

                  Finally!

                  5
                  • Gorffly mokua

                    31 w

                    This is a positive step that reflects a commitment to preventing the dumping of waste in regions with less stringent regulations, thereby addressing the global issue of plastic pollution.

                    4
                    • Princess

                      31 w

                      This move can contribute to global efforts in reducing environmental pollution and promoting responsible waste management practices.

                      5
                      • Jane Wangui

                        30 w

                        @princess_nel_268 This is very positive, it prevents damping of plastics or other wastes in the 'poor' countries.

                        3
                      • Elizabeth Gathigia

                        31 w

                        This is the right thing to do,the poor nations has already suffered enough from these plastic waste

                        5
                        • walter lungayi

                          31 w

                          This decision by the EU to ban exports of waste plastic to poor countries is a positive step towards reducing the global plastic waste crisis. It is unfair for developed countries to dump their waste on poorer nations that lack the resources to properly dispose of it.

                          5
                          • Munene Mugambi

                            31 w

                            Something we've been advocating for, glad to see it implemented

                            6
                            • Gabriella Coppolecchia

                              31 w

                              This is an important step however I feel like we could make a major change if we were to simply ban unnecessary single use plastic. And i'm not just talking about straws and shopping bags. I'm talking about shipping packaging and useless packaging for products that can just as well be sold loose ( including vegetables, nuts, pasta, cereal, laundry liquid) and so on

                              14
                              • rosebellendiritu

                                31 w

                                This is very good,because sometimes the poor countries pollute the least but suffers the most

                                13
                                • Andy Kadir-Buxton

                                  31 w

                                  There are many creatures that use enzymes to eat plastic, and we should copy these enzymes on an industrial scale.

                                  6
                                  • Munene Mugambi

                                    31 w

                                    @andy_kadir_buxton_320 This would require a lot of funding in R&D and I believe we can do it if we're ambitious enough. Question is, are we?

                                    4
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