US News: Shipping plastic waste to poor countries just got harder - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US NewsShipping plastic waste to poor countries just got harder

07:40  11 may  2019
07:40  11 may  2019 Source:   nationalgeographic.com

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It just got more difficult for rich countries to ship their plastic waste to poor countries . Plastic waste shipments became an issue last year after China, the world’s biggest importer of plastic scrap, stopped buying non-industrial plastic scrap, upending a 0 billion global recycling industry.

It just got more difficult for rich countries to ship their plastic waste to poor countries . On May 10, more than 180 nations agreed in Geneva to add mixed plastic scrap to the Basel Convention, the treaty that controls the international movement of hazardous waste . Under the amended treaty

Shipping plastic waste to poor countries just got harder © Photograph by Randy Olson, Nat Geo Image Collection

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It just got more difficult for rich countries to ship their plastic waste to poor countries. On May 10, more than 180 nations agreed in Geneva to add mixed plastic scrap to the Basel Convention, the treaty that controls the international movement of hazardous waste.

Under the amended treaty, exporters must first obtain consent from the governments of receiving nations before shipping the most contaminated, mixed, or unrecyclable plastic waste. Requiring that kind of special attention is regarded as a crucial step in helping the world gain control of a plastic pollution crisis that has already seen 100 million tons of plastic waste leak into the world’s oceans, according to United Nations figures.

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More than 180 countries have agreed to include plastic in a treaty regulating exports of hazardous waste .

Exports of plastic waste from the US to developing countries have surged following China’s crackdown on foreign waste imports, new research has Nearly half of plastic waste exported from the US for recycling in the first six months of 2018 was shipped to Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam

Shipping plastic waste to poor countries just got harder © Thomson Reuters Used plastic bottles are seen staked before being processed at the Mr.Green plastic recycling factory in Nairobi, Kenya, June 25, 2018. Picture taken June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

David Azoulay of the Center for International Environmental Law, a research and advocacy group, said in an interview that the action “shows what ambitious international leadership looks like.”

Plastic waste shipments became an issue last year after China, the world’s biggest importer of plastic scrap, stopped buying non-industrial plastic scrap, upending a $200 billion global recycling industry. By 2030 China’s new policy will have displaced more than 120 million tons of mixed or contaminated plastic, according to a study published last year.

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of hard -to-recycle plastic waste to poorer countries , the United Nations announced on Friday. send lower-quality plastic waste to private entities in developing countries without getting approval from The Basel convention sets rules for first-world countries shipping hazardous waste to less

He said he believed that the risks from distributing the waste widely are one of the reasons that a facility ought to be built. “Even if we never build another nuclear power plant, we still have the end of the fuel cycle that we need to deal with,” he says. “To leave it stranded in population centers around the

Shipping plastic waste to poor countries just got harder © Adriana Adie/NurPhoto A scavenger cleans plastic bottles for sale at a garbage dump in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, on May 8, 2019. According to Our World in Data, Indonesia is the number two producer of plastic waste in the world after China. (Photo by Adriana Adie/NurPhoto via Getty Images) As a result of that change, other Southeast Asian nations, including Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia, were quickly overwhelmed with shipments of waste that they did not have the capacity to handle. Several countries took action to stop shipments at their ports. In the West, plastic trash piled up on the docks in San Francisco and in the U.K. and other European nations, as trash exporters searched for new buyers.

Although the European Union is the world’s largest exporter of plastic waste, U.S. exports are the largest for a single country. But because the U.S. is not a party to the Basel Convention, the new regulations could effectively prevent it from selling contaminated or mixed plastic waste to developing nations, according to Azoulay and another observer who attended the negotiations.

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Wealthy Western countries including the UK ship millions of tons of plastic waste to poorer countries for recycling every year. THE European Union’s crusade to recycle plastic is making pollution of the world’s oceans worse, a climate think tank warned yesterday.

Shipping plastic waste to poor countries just got harder © Thomson Reuters A worker sorts used plastic at a plastic recycling center in Jakarta, Indonesia, November 20, 2018. Picture taken November 20, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan A spokeswoman for the American Chemistry Council said the U.S. potentially could negotiate separate agreements with other countries that would allow trade of contaminated plastic. But, she added, the amendment to the Convention creates “new regulatory hurdles.”

The new regulations were proposed as an amendment to the Convention by Norway, which, among other nations, unsuccessfully pushed for a broader global agreement on plastic waste at the United National Environmental Program meeting in Nairobi in March.

In Geneva, U.S. observers argued against amending the Convention, and suggested voluntary measures to contain plastics pollution would be more effective than binding measures, according to an observer of the discussion in Geneva.The U.S. also suggested that better infrastructure in developing nations would be a more effective solution. Its suggestions carried little weight in the negotiations because the the U.S. has signed but not ratified the treaty.

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Shipping plastic waste to poor countries just got harder © Copyright 2019, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten 07 May 2019, Berlin: Overcrowded rubbish bins stand in a side street of the street "Unter den Linden". Photo: Paul Zinken/dpa (Photo by Paul Zinken/picture alliance via Getty Images) The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, a recycling trade group, said in a statement that the amendments to the Convention “will hamper the world’s ability to recycle plastic material.…” Requiring prior informed consent from importing countries, the group argued, will create “an administrative burden that will make it harder for countries without recycling capacity to export collected plastics to countries with infrastructure in place.”

The Basel Convention was negotiated by the United Nations Environmental Program and is considered the most comprehensive international environmental agreement on hazardous waste. As of last year, 186 nations and the European Union are parties to the convention. Aside from the United States, a handful of smaller nations have not signed or ratified the Convention. The treaty’s full name is the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.

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